Dental care doesn’t stop at regularly brushing your teeth. To get a healthy mouth overall, you have to also floss and visit your dentist regularly.
When you floss, you remove leftover food and plaque that may not be immediately visible to you. Plaque is a film that builds up on your teeth in areas where bacteria can easily proliferate. If left untreated, plaque can lead to tartar. Tartar consists of crusty deposits that can cause discolouration of the teeth and tooth decay.
Your teeth are like the carpet of your home. When you vacuum your carpet, you get most of the dust and debris from your floors. However, without deep cleaning every once and a while, your carpet will look dull. A deep clean will remove all the dirt and debris, making your carpet cleaner and brighter. The same can be said for your teeth. Where brushing is like vacuuming, flossing is the deep cleaning.
While practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to keep your mouth healthy, getting into a regular flossing routine is the best stepping-stone. Let’s go over why flossing makes such a difference.
Flossing Prevents Oral Diseases
Several oral diseases can affect you if you don’t take the needed steps to protect your teeth. Scientific evidence suggests that periodontal disease can increase the risk of other diseases throughout the entire body.
One of the biggest risk factors links periodontal disease (gum disease) to heart disease. While more studies need to be done, some researchers believe that infections in the mouth increase the levels of inflammatory substances in your bloodstream. These substances can slow blood flow to the heart and increase the chance of blood clots. Scientists also suggest that mouth infections make it easier for bacteria to enter your blood and harm your cardiovascular system.
Flossing reduces these risks by lowering your chance of developing periodontal disease. When you floss regularly, you cut down on the likeliness of getting an infection in your mouth.
Flossing is also a great opportunity to examine the health of your mouth. Check out your tongue, teeth, and gums for any redness or swelling. You can see signs of a disorder or disease with a self-exam. Potential causes of redness or swelling include an eating disorder, cancer, substance abuse, or even HIV/AIDS.
How Does Flossing Help Your Gums?
Periodontal disease is often the result of unhealthy habits that affect your gums. While it’s not the biggest cause for pulpal death, it can increase your chances of needing a root canal or losing your teeth. Brushing your teeth twice a day is necessary for good oral health, but it won’t protect you entirely.
Gum disease is one of the most common oral ailments for Canadians. It’s an ailment that can develop fairly early for those who lack a proper oral care regimen.
Before gum disease fully develops, you can get gingivitis. It’s the first stage of periodontal disease and the stage that is the most treatable. When you floss, you get rid of the food and debris that builds up and leads to gingivitis.
Those who have sensitive or bleeding gums often feel worried about flossing for fear of making their condition worse. However, flossing regularly will help improve the health of your gums. It can even prevent them from bleeding.
Why Oral Disease Prevention Matters
When you combine flossing with brushing and rinsing daily, you keep your smile beautiful and healthy for the rest of your life. Developing an oral care routine can seem difficult at first. However, once you have all the elements you need and get into the habit, your mouth will thank you. Start your dental regimen as soon as you can to protect your teeth in the long run.
When to Floss
It’s recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice daily. Most people choose to do so in the morning and at night. However, when you eat meals in the middle of the day, it can leave food particles stuck in your teeth. Flossing after every meal not only will make your mouth feel cleaner but also will promote good dental hygiene.
Be mindful of when you snack and consider flossing even after these tiny meals. Popular snacks, such as raisins and pretzels, can stick between your teeth. These foods also often have large quantities of sugar and salt that can speed up tooth decay. Flossing removes these elements from your mouth without the need to brush your teeth.
Does a Dental Condition Prevent You from Flossing?
Flossing is an important way to remove plaque from your mouth. However, many people avoid it because they find the process to be painful. Luckily, there are several products available that make flossing painless and easy.
Most people see the standard version of dental floss as the only effective product for flossing. However, there are many solutions available for all ages, including those with any type of dental condition. The following are just a few products you can consider for specific dental problems.
- Sensitive gums. Those who have sensitive gums and teeth that bleed easily can find soft floss. This product slides comfortably and easily between your teeth.
- Braces. People who wear braces or have dentures may think that flossing isn’t something they can do. However, there is specialized floss available that is made with a stiff end. This allows you to thread underneath the main wire of your braces. It also has a spongy component that easily slides between your teeth.
- Training a child. Teaching children to care about dental hygiene is an important but challenging task. Dentists advise that you should teach your child to floss between the ages of 5-7 years old. Various products are available to make flossing interesting and fun for kids.
- Difficulty manipulating the floss. For those who can’t seem to get the right grip on their floss, try an electric flosser. This tool is easy to use and can help you reach the back of your mouth. It also provides just enough pressure to stimulate your gums without causing pain.
The Bottom Line
Proper dental care is vital to keep your smile healthy and bright. It doesn’t start or stop with just flossing. Floss, brush, and rinse your teeth regularly so that your mouth is free from disease. Most importantly, you should see your dentist regularly or whenever you suspect an issue.