You’ve heard it time and time again. Flossing your teeth is important to your oral health. Brushing along won’t get the job done. Flossing is necessary to make sure the spaces between your teeth are cleaned. Flossing also supports health gums as well. According to the ADA, flossing is an important part of dental hygiene when it comes to cleaning the surfaces between your teeth. Flossing helps reduce bacteria and plaque buildup between the teeth.
Now that you know why flossing is a sanctioned part of your regular oral hygiene program, it’s time to look at the specific benefits to flossing as well as the types of floss and the best practices in flossing protocols.
The Tangible Benefits of Flossing
Brushing is great for cleaning all of your teeth surfaces. But for further cleaning, you will need to floss in order to reach and clean the gaps between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t go. These hidden nooks and crannies are where bacteria often reside. Regular flossing allows you to rid your mouth of bacteria that, when left unchecked, can result in bad breath, buildup of plaque and tooth decay. This in turn can lead to gum disease. So the benefits of flossing are clear. If you don’t floss regularly, you can more easily develop cavities and gum disease. Even more than that, gum disease can be a risky to your overall health and can exacerbate chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
What Floss Should You Use?
There are different types of dental floss and auxiliary tools to help you get the job done. Floss can be waxed or unwaxed and the type you used is a matter of preference. Unwaxed floss can be difficult for some to use when it comes to gliding it between the teeth. Waxed floss may be easier. It’s a matter of personal preference, so choose floss that works best for you and use it in a manner that does not hurt your gums.
You can use other flossing products such as water pics to remove food particles caught between teeth. If you need help in deciding which floss is right for you, narrow down your choices by selecting among those brands that have the ADA seal of approval.
How to Floss Properly
It does not matter what floss you use, be it waxed, nylon, unwaxed or with holders, the main thing is to floss in the first place. But you must do it correctly to realize the benefits. First, start with at least 18 inches of floss so you can grasp and hold it securely. Next, gently glide the floss between each tooth and move the floss in a back and forth and up and down motion. You want to be sure to curve the floss in a “C” formation around each tooth for better results. Rinse your mouth once you have completed flossing to wash away the loosed food particles.
Flossing and Brushing For Better Benefits
Dental professionals recommend regular flossing along with brushing as the best means of preventive care between dental visits. Be sure to brush and floss at least twice daily. If there are signs of early gum disease, be sure to consult your dentist to see if other oral care is necessary. Your dentist can also be instrumental in evaluating your flossing and brushing techniques to make sure you are on the right track in your oral hygiene regime.
In summary, regular flossing should be an overall part of you dental hygiene habits. Flossing helps to improve your oral hygiene and your overall health as well. Just remember that flossing along with daily brushing make up the gold standard in dental care for your pearly whites.