General Dentistry Tip: The Importance of Flossing

Woman flossing her teeth

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Keeping your smile healthy starts with good at-home cleanings that happen on a daily basis. One commonly ignored aspect of general dentistry, however, is flossing. Flossing your teeth is extremely important because only floss can clean those hard to reach areas between your teeth. If you haven’t been flossing or don’t see any reason to floss, check out these important facts.

Flossing Removes Plaque

The reason that flossing is so important is because it gets rid of the plaque that hides between your teeth. Your toothbrush bristles can’t usually reach these tight places, and when you don’t floss, it allows that plaque to harden and to form tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. Even if you have routine cleanings (but especially if you skip those, too), the bacteria contained in tartar and plaque can eat away at your tooth enamel until it causes decay or a cavity.

Clean Gums Help Prevent Gum Disease

It’s not just your teeth that can fall victim to plaque and tartar. When you don’t clean between your teeth, the tartar also irritates your gums. If left untreated, it can cause your gums to become inflamed, irritated and infected: a condition known as gum disease. Advanced gum disease can lead to severe tooth loss and gum recession, which drastically impacts the health of your smile. So, do you want to spend a few minutes a day flossing, or do you want to suffer with bloody gums and loose teeth if you do develop gum disease?

It May Help Prevent Other Diseases

General dentistry basics, such as flossing, don’t just affect your oral health; the bacteria that collects on your teeth when you don’t floss isn’t just bad for your mouth. Research has proven that the bacteria in your mouth can affect the rest of your body, increasing your chances of heart disease, diabetes and respiratory problems. So, when you skip flossing, you’re not just putting yourself at risk for a little cavity, you may be putting your heart at risk too.

It Doesn’t Really Matter When You Floss

You may hear people argue that it’s best to floss after a meal, and other people say it’s best to floss before the meal. The truth is, however, that it really doesn’t matter when you floss. The most important thing is that you floss well. Taking thirty seconds to quickly flick the floss between a few teeth isn’t enough. You need to take a few minutes, so you can actually clean every bit of food and bacteria between your teeth. Another thing that doesn’t really matter is what type of floss you use. Whether you use traditional floss, flossers, waxed floss, thick floss, etc., just make sure to use them correctly.

Don’t neglect your teeth and gums by skipping flossing. Just like brushing and routine professional cleanings help keep your mouth healthy, so does flossing. If you would like more information about how to properly floss or you just want additional general dentistry tips that can keep your mouth happy, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

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