How Important Is Dental Floss for My Oral Health?

How Important Is Dental Floss for My Oral Health?

How Important Is Dental Floss for My Oral Health?

According to a recent survey by the American Academy of Periodontology and published through National Public Radio, a whopping 27 percent of Americans lie to their dentists about flossing their teeth. Amazingly, this figure is lower than many dentists expect because of the high number of patients who seem to fib about regularly using floss. The American Dental Association’s data shows that only four in every ten of us actually floss our teeth daily. This makes one wonder, how important is dental floss for oral health?

How Important Is Dental Floss for My Oral Health?Is Flossing Your Teeth Really Important?

Love it or hate it, flossing is a critical part of your daily oral health routine. Dental floss cleans between teeth and under the gumline where bacteria and plaque build up. In these small crevices, your toothbrush does not effectively work on its own. If you neglect to floss, food debris and other matter lingers even after brushing your teeth. This leftover bacteria and plaque lead to tartar build-up, tooth decay and gum disease.

Using dental floss is a significant part of interdental cleaning. You can also use proxabrushes, tiny dental brushes designed to fit between teeth. Other options include Stim-U-Dent plaque removal picks or plastic floss picks that make flossing easier. Regardless of which type of interdental cleaning tool you choose, you should perform this oral hygiene step every day. It is important to prevent tartar build-up, bad breath, tooth decay and periodontal disease.

When you skip flossing, you leave bacteria and plaque on your teeth and under your gumline to harden. Once it hardens into tartar, his yellow calcified plaque can only be removed by your dentist or dental hygienist. The process requires specially designed tools like ultrasonic scaling devices or other dental instruments. If you are like most people and prefer more comfortable dental visits, fewer cavities to fill and healthy gums, dental floss simply must be part of your daily routine.

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Making Dental Floss Part of Your Daily Oral Hygiene

A great way to establish a healthy oral hygiene routine is to seek your dentist’s recommendations for which tools to use. You can talk openly with your dentist or dental hygienist about which types of toothbrushes, toothpastes and dental floss to use. Ask whether regular dental floss, proxabrushes or floss picks are best suited to your individual needs. Your dental professionals can also show you the ideal methods for using each of these types of floss or interdental cleaning tools.

Choose one time of day to establish your flossing routine. According to the American Dental Association and Colgate, you can floss before you brush or after. It is your choice. But most dentists recommend flossing before brushing in the morning or at bedtime. Flossing first loosens debris between your teeth and under the gumline. Then, brushing and rinsing after flossing cleans away this debris, instead of just moving it around your mouth.

Correct Use of Dental Floss

Of course, it is very important that you properly floss your teeth. Below are some steps to ensure you get the most out of your flossing routine.

1. Wrap about 18 inches of floss around your index fingers and grasp it firmly between your thumbs and forefingers. This holds the dental floss securely and keeps it from slipping as you clean between teeth.

2. Gently insert the dental floss between each of your teeth.

3. When the floss reaches the gumline between your teeth, curve it around one tooth at a time to form a C-shape.

4. Gently rock the floss in an up and down, back and forth motion.

5. After removing the floss from between each set of two teeth, use a clean section of the thread for the next set.

6. Never reuse dental floss or dental picks.

If you have not flossed your teeth in awhile, you may experience some light gum bleeding. This improves as you continue following your daily flossing routine. But if it does not stop with continued flossing or becomes severe, schedule a visit with your dentist.

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Flossing Is a Critical Part of Your Daily Oral Hygiene

Most people put off flossing because they believe toothbrushing is enough, on its own. This is simply not true. Using dental floss each day helps improve your oral health and keeps your teeth and gums healthy. Of course, you also need to visit your dentist at least twice yearly to maintain your beautiful smile and treat problems early. Schedule your next visit at your Carolina Dental Arts dentist in Raleigh, Durham or Goldsboro now.

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