The surprising benefits of regular flossing
You’ve heard it a million times: flossing is one of the biggest components of dental health. It’s also one of the hardest dental routines to uphold, but our Atascadero dental team at Guittard & Sierra Family Dentistry has a list of the surprising benefits of regular flossing that might just motivate you to floss at least once a day.
But first, you should know proper flossing technique.
According to Spear dental education, start with about 18 inches of floss, winding most of it around each middle finger so that about 1-2 inches of floss is left to work with.
Hold the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, sliding it gently up and down between your teeth. To get beneath the gum line, gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth.
To prevent cutting or bruising your gums, do not snap or force the floss. Make sure to use a clean section of floss as you move to different teeth.
When removing floss, you can use the same back and forth motion to bring the floss up and away from your teeth.
Spear also says that using a water flosser, a handheld device that sprays a stream of water in between teeth, can be more effective than traditional flossing and it can be especially useful for people who have braces or implants.
Now, the benefits:
Prevents Bad Breath
Here’s one that should get your attention. Food bits trapped in between teeth and in the gum line can breed bacteria that causes bad breath. Daily flossing can help to remove particles that brushing misses and keep your breath fresh. And who wants little bits of food stuck in your teeth?
Prevents Gum Disease
If your gums bleed when you do floss, it’s a sign you might have gingivitis, inflammation around your gums and the early stage of gum disease.
This can lead to a more serious infection known as periodontitis, causing your gums to recede or pull away from your teeth. Over time, you may lose bone support and become loose and can even cause an inflammatory response throughout your body.
Flossing once a day can help reduce your risk of gum disease. Regular cleanings done by your dentist can also help keep your gums healthy.
Preventative Oral Hygiene
Your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. We know, gross. Particularly if you do not practice proper oral care hygiene habits like brushing and flossing, you’re at risk of danger of bacteria and microorganisms getting trapped in between your teeth.
Proper and regular flossing helps to remove food debris and bacteria from the areas that brushing misses, preventing build-ups of bacteria. Regular flossing also disrupts the bacteria from turning into plaque, which damages your teeth over time.
Prevents Tartar Build-Up
It doesn’t take long for plaque to accumulate on your teeth. When plaque is left unremoved, it can harden into tartar. Daily flossing will help to remove plaque from between your teeth and prevent tartar formation at the gum line.
Promotes heart health
Good dental hygiene that includes regular flossing doesn’t only benefit your mouth; it may be heart healthy, too.
The American Heart Association also says there’s an important connection between oral health and heart health.
Bottom line, flossing is a great way to help your overall oral hygiene and overall health to prevent larger and more expensive dental problems down the line. It’s also very important to maintain a regular hygiene schedule with your dentist.