How does flossing work?
Flossing removes plaque and food particles stuck between teeth and promotes an overall healthier mouth.
Plaque is a sticky biofilm of bacteria and its build-up can lead to swollen gums, tooth decay, dental cavities, or gum disease. Bacteria irritate the gum tissue, making them inflamed and bleed easily, which breeds more bacteria and causes gingivitis. Plaque buildup on teeth and along the gum line can result in tooth decay and gum disease. Regular dental cleanings, brushing, and interdental cleaning have been shown to disrupt and remove plaque. Flossing mechanically stimulates our gums and triggers an inflammatory response. If your gums bleed, it is an indication you need to brush and floss more frequently.
Flossing covers 40% of cleaning –
Flossing cleans your tooth surfaces by accessing the areas that are impossible to clean with a toothbrush. Brushing only cleans about 60% or two-thirds of the mouth, for the remaining one-third that the toothbrush doesn’t reach flossing is the only way to clean!
Oral health & systemic health are interlinked –
Good oral health impacts your overall systemic health. Research has shown that good oral hygiene helps reduce the risk of stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory disease, and heart disease—all of which are linked to gum health and periodontitis.
Preventing gingivitis –
Gingivitis and cavities are the two dental problems that you are very prone to when proper oral hygiene is not practiced. Plaque buildup along the gum line irritates the gum and can cause gingival bleeding and inflammation.
Preventing dental decay –
Plaque is a sticky biofilm that adheres to tooth surfaces. These bacteria release acids which damage the enamel and can lead to tooth decay. Plaque removal is necessary to prevent these dental problems
Prevent the progression of gingivitis to periodontal disease –
Inflamed gums and gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease if left untreated. Bacteria from periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and travel to your heart and respiratory tract. Periodontal disease has also been linked to diabetes, preterm labor, and the risk of low birth weight in newborn babies. Practicing optimal oral hygiene at home, including flossing and tooth brushing, is an easy way to prevent these.
How to floss?
According to the American Dental Association, interdental cleaners such as floss and interdental brushes are an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums to clean between teeth and remove plaque. Proper technique is important whether you use floss or some other interdental cleaner.
Pull 18 to 24 inches of dental floss and wrap the ends around your index and middle fingers. Holding the floss tightly around each tooth in a C shape, move it up and down against the side of each tooth and back and forth in a push-pull motion. Floss at least once a day. Use a waxed floss to remove any food and plaque from between the teeth and along the gumline.
The next time you see that container of dental floss at your bathroom sink don’t be afraid to start flossing and prevent dental diseases from occurring in your mouth!