While floss was invented in 1815, it doesn’t get the respect it deserves in most people’s daily oral hygiene routines. Many view flossing as unnecessary and an inconvenience. Yet, if you aren’t flossing daily, you’re opening the door to a wide range of oral health complications. Adding flossing to your daily hygiene routine not only creates a cleaner, healthier smile, but also decreases your risk for developing painful dental complications, including gum disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss. At Drs Boyd, we are committed to helping you have a healthy, long-lasting smile, which is why we encourage you to floss properly each day.
Benefits of Daily Flossing
Dental floss is a handy tool to remove food particles, bacteria, and plaque between your teeth and the spaces your toothbrush isn’t able to reach. With flossing you’re dramatically decreasing your risk for developing oral health problems, but only when you make it a habit to floss daily, not occasionally.
Since a toothbrush doesn’t reach the spaces between the teeth, the accumulation of bacteria and plaque leads to tooth decay and gum disease. When left untreated, it leads to the destruction of the supporting structures and bone and eventually tooth loss.
When you don’t practice proper flossing, the plaque and bacteria may also cause bad breath — which will intensify if tooth decay and gum disease develops.
If you haven’t previously used flossing as part of your daily oral hygiene routine, it’s never too late to start. If you’re new to flossing, be aware that shredding of the floss is a sign that tooth decay may have already developed or an existing filling is failing. If this happens, it’s best to schedule a checkup appointment with us right away.
Best Tips for Flossing
While flossing is pretty self-explanatory, there are some simple tips that make flossing more effective. You’ll want to use about 18 inches of floss, which will give you a couple of inches to work with to make the task easier. Then, you’ll want to gently insert the floss between each tooth and create a C-shape along the tooth, or as Dr. Andrew likes to say, “Hug each tooth with the floss.” Move the floss back and forth, up and down each side of the tooth. Use the floss to clean beneath the gum line, but be careful not to hit the gums too hard with the floss. For those who have braces, flossing will be a little more difficult, but is vitally important for maintaining your oral health during the course of your orthodontic treatment.
At Drs Boyd, we know that oral health begins with preventive measures, which is why we highly recommend you take the time to floss daily. Even with daily flossing and brushing, you’ll still want to schedule your twice a year cleaning. Call today to schedule an appointment.