If you cringe every time your dentist asks you how often you floss your teeth, know that you are not alone. There are plenty of people out there who skip this important step when they brush their teeth either because they think that flossing takes too much time, or that it is painful. If you use the right flossing products, and use them correctly and frequently, you will find that daily flossing is not as difficult or uncomfortable as you once thought. There are also many ways in which your oral health would benefit from daily flossing.
Reaching Trapped Food Particles
Brushing your teeth regularly is of course very important for the health of your teeth and mouth, but a toothbrush cannot reach all of the places where food becomes trapped. There are many crevices between your teeth where food particles can become lodged, and only dental floss will be able to help.
If you do not remove this buildup using floss, these food particles, including harmful acids and sugars, will be stuck next to your teeth for very long periods of time. The result will often be tooth decay and cavities, which will require dental procedures that are much more invasive than simple flossing.
Keeping Your Gums Healthy
Many people avoid flossing because it causes their gums to bleed. However, this is actually a sign that you need to be flossing more. If your gums bleed easily it’s an indication that you may be developing gum disease, such as gingivitis. Gum disease occurs when plaque, which contains harmful bacteria, is left between your teeth and close to your gums.
If your gums bleed when you floss, you should have this problem evaluated by your dentist, who will likely suggest that you begin flossing daily. There are dental floss products available that are designed specifically for sensitive gums. As you continue to floss regularly, and remove the harmful bacteria from your gums, you should see the inflammation and bleeding reduce over time.
Having Fresh Breath
Bad breath is also known as halitosis. Halitosis occurs when dental plaque is left to buildup in between the teeth for long periods of time. By flossing everyday, you can prevent these contaminants from having the opportunity to accumulate in between your teeth, and therefore you can avoid developing halitosis. Flossing regularly is one of the most effective ways to keep your mouth looking, feeling, and smelling healthy.
Learning to Floss Effectively
Flossing daily is only useful if you are using the right products, and using them correctly. When flossing, it is very important that you know how to reach between every single tooth, and remove all of the plaque from the sides of your teeth. If you are not sure if you are flossing correctly, visit your dental professional. Your dentist, or dental hygienist, can give you a quick and simple tutorial and demonstrate for you the best ways to floss your teeth. Once you add flossing to your daily routine, you will likely see noticeable improvement of your overall oral health.
Dr. Goldberg is a Toronto dentist. He and his team operate out of his dental office in Toronto. He specializes in general dentistry, periodontal dentistry and Toronto cosmetic dentisty.