Flossing is so important! Here’s why.
In our experience, no one likes to floss their teeth, but getting a cavity filled is much worse. That’s why it’s important that you do everything you can to maintain a clean and healthy mouth, and that includes flossing on a daily basis. Today we’ll be taking a look at why flossing is so necessary and provide a helpful reminder of what else needs to be a part of your regular routine.
One of the best approaches to healthcare, including oral hygiene, is what’s known as preventative care. This is when actions are taken and encouraged that will stop you from getting ill in the first place, helping to avoid more expensive and invasive treatments down the road. In terms of dental care, this means maintaining good daily habits that will keep your mouth clean and avoid tooth decay, plaque build up, and bacterial infections, thereby helping to prevent cavities and other painful problems.
Flossing is a simple action that leads to positive results. Let’s take a look at the reasons that daily flossing is so necessary.
Why is flossing everyday important?
Flossing regularly is one of the single best things you can do for your teeth. And there is ample research to back this up. Studies have shown that brushing alone will only clean 65% of tooth surfaces, compared with the much more thorough cleaning provided by flossing. Scientists have even conducted research in which a large number of twins were compared, with one of the pair brushing their teeth twice a day, and the other both brushing and flossing. The twins who did both showed many fewer signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral hygiene problems. (https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/solutions/floss/the-benefits-of-flossing-your-teeth/)
What are some of the ways that flossing helps? First of all, as the twin study indicated, flossing on a regular basis helps to reduce gingivitis and other diseases of the gums. This is because flossing helps to remove food material that gets stuck in the gums, as well as helping to reduce plaque build up, both of which are leading causes of gum disease. Other associated conditions are also reduced, such as bleeding of the gums, receding gums, and tooth loss.
The primary purpose of flossing is to remove the food material and other gunk that gets lodged in the spaces between the teeth. While brushing can help in some instances, you’re not able to get into all those spaces with a toothbrush alone. Flossing allows you to clean out the gaps between your teeth and gums, which is why it is so valuable in helping to reduce gum disease.
Flossing will have a number of other benefits as well. By removing the food material that leads to bacteria build up, you will lower the chance you will suffer from halitosis and bad breath. Likewise, it helps to prevent tooth decay, thus reducing the number of cavities you’ll get in your lifetime. Finally, lowering the number of bacterial infections will help to reduce the likelihood you’ll suffer from other related conditions, including heart disease. Yes, it’s true. Flossing everyday lowers the chances you’ll have a heart attack.
How to properly floss your teeth
While flossing may seem easy, it’s also easy to get lazy and only go through the motions, reducing its effectiveness. To get the full benefits of flossing regularly, follow these tips.
Start off by taking a piece of dental floss that is 18 to 24 inches long. Wind the floss around both middle fingers several times and relatively tightly, leaving a few inches of floss in between. Guiding the taut floss with your thumb and index fingers, slide it between each tooth one at a time. Gently glide the floss up and down your teeth, making sure to contact each side. Repeat for all of your lower and upper teeth.
Be sure not to dig the floss into your gums, as this can injure them. Instead, as you come into contact with the gums, allow the floss to curve around your gums in a C-shape. This will ensure that you’re getting the spaces between your teeth and gums. When moving from one tooth to the next, keep using a clean section of the floss. Alternatively, after each tooth, rinse the floss off in the sink. Otherwise, you might be spreading the food from one tooth to the next, rather than removing it.
Besides flossing, what else should be a part of your daily oral hygiene?
As important as flossing is to maintaining healthy teeth, it is just one part of a comprehensive dental routine. Obviously, you should also be brushing your teeth after flossing. And while you might only floss twice a day, you should definitely be brushing after every meal and snack.
Along with brushing and flossing, it’s highly recommended that you use a mouth rinse as well. The recommended order of these three preventative actions is floss first, brush second, and rinse last. Your mouthwash works best when it is left on your teeth for 60 seconds after spitting out, and if you brush immediately afterwards, it will reduce the effectiveness.
Finally, diet also plays an important role in maintaining a healthy smile. Avoid sugary foods as much as possible, especially soft drinks and other high sugar beverages.
Your Nashville, Tennessee Dental Specialists
Flossing isn’t fun, but if you make it a part of your daily routine, it will quickly become second nature. In fact, you’ll start to feel weird when you don’t floss. That’s because it’s a great way to keep your teeth clean and healthy and ensure you have a bright smile your entire life. For this reason, Dr. Jody Jones and the entire team at our dental office place a tremendous emphasis on the importance of flossing from an early age.
As long time members of the Nashville community, we treat all of our patients like they are members of our own family. No matter what your age, you can rest assured you’ll get the best in preventive and emergency care at Jody Jones, DDS. Our practice has the latest, most advanced equipment, and fully trained dental specialists who prioritize the comfort and well being of our patients.
Contact one of our friendly dental professionals today to schedule your next dental appointment.