To Floss or Not to Floss? That is the Question
Every six months, you visit your dentist for a regular checkup, hear about the importance of flossing, and promise you’ll start doing it daily. Naturally, you intend to follow through, but for many, this promise falls to the wayside.
While some still ponder the idea of whether they should be flossing or not, the real question should be “how much should I floss and why?”
Why Flossing is So Important
Brushing offers instant gratification because your teeth feel clean, but what about flossing? While you might not see or feel results right away (unless you have something stuck between your teeth), it is extremely important.
Brushing alone cannot accomplish what brushing and floss can together. As such, it’s vital that you floss on a daily basis to ensure all teeth surfaces are cleaned properly.
If you’re still looking for more reasons to floss, look no further:
- Flossing Removes Plaque – Flossing picks up where brushing leaves off. This is vital because plaque can produce acid, causing issues like cavities, gum irritation, and even gum disease when left untreated.
- Flossing Helps Prevent Staining – Stains can build up on your teeth when they adhere to plaque and tartar. Flossing regularly helps stop staining at the source.
- Flossing Protects Your Gums – Flossing preserves gum health by removing tiny particles of food that brushing can’t. This reduces tartar buildup that can cause issues like gingivitis or periodontitis if left untreated.
- Flossing Helps Prevents Against Systemic Diseases – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), oral bacteria might be connected to heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory illnesses. By removing oral bacteria, flossing could offer some protection against these conditions.
Flossing the Right Way Matters
While taking the initiative to floss is great, doing it properly is what counts for oral health:
- The Proper Technique – After cutting a piece of floss between 15 and 18 inches long, floss in a “C” shaped motion and also move the floss up and down.
- Don’t Let Blood Stop You – A little bit of blood isn’t reason to stop. It often indicates a buildup of plaque that needs to be cleaned away and should become less frequent with regular flossing.
- Invest In Floss Holders – Sometimes flossing is difficult depending upon your level of dexterity. A floss pick or floss holder can make things much easier.
To Floss or To Floss? That is the Question
So, to floss or to floss?
When you consider the benefits of flossing and its integral role in your oral and general health, the question of whether or not you should floss tends to not be much of a question any longer.
Still Not Flossing? More Reasons Why You Should. (2012, March 1). Retrieved June 2, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/still-not-flossing-more-reasons-why-you-should?page=2
Brown, Tracy. (2014, July 22).Top Excuses for Not Flossing & How to Conquer Them. Retrieved June 2, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-teeth-14/flossing-floss-sticks?page=1Share
About the Author:Since 1972, Salem Pediatric Dental & Orthodontic Associates has provided comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care for infants and children through adolescence including those with special health care needs. We proudly serve the communities of Salem, Lynn, Peabody, Danvers, Marblehead, Swampscott, Beverly, and many more.