While it is common practice for most people to brush their teeth at least twice a day, in a lot of cases flossing is left out of the picture completely. Although highly recommended by dentists and reinforced in advertising campaigns over the last couple of decades, some people still do not understand the benefits of flossing- and why it may just be the most important preventative measure you can take to keep your teeth healthy. Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of regular flossing:
- Plaque Removal: This is the primary function of flossing, and the reason it needs to be done every time you brush your teeth. Plaque is essentially a film caused by bacteria buildup on the teeth. This bacteria release toxins that can cause many issues with the teeth. Plaque buildup, if not prevented will also lead to tartar buildup on the teeth. If this happens, the help of a dental hygienist will be necessary.
- Prevention of Gum Disease: If plaque buildup on the teeth is untreated, it can lead to gum disease and gingivitis. Regular flossing will prevent this buildup of plaque and in turn keep you free of gum disease.
- Cavity Prevention: As mentioned above, plaque buildup can cause toxins to be released onto the teeth. This buildup, if untreated, can lead to decaying of the teeth. This decaying, if allowed to continue, can turn into cavities in the teeth. Again, regular flossing can prevent this buildup and help to keep you free of cavities.
In addition to these larger issues, regular flossing can also help keep your breath fresh and your smile white. Flossing will remove any food particles left in your teeth. These particles are what cause bad breath if left undisturbed.
Ultimately, regular flossing of the teeth is an absolutely essential part of good dental hygiene. Not only will it help you stave off bad breath and keep your teeth white, it will also help you in the prevention of many more serious conditions that can lead to lifelong problems with the health of your teeth.
Have you thought about whether you should floss before or after you brush? The answer is BEFORE! The floss loosens the plaque between the teeth and then this allows the detergent in the toothpaste to lift out the bacteria while brushing. It also allows the fluoride in the toothpaste to reach the cleaned surface between the teeth to help prevent cavities and demineralize damaged enamel.
If you have any questions on flossing or other dental health issues, please contact our office today.