Our team of dentists at Hamptons Dental will tell you that you should brush at least twice a day, and floss at least once. Many of us take the “brush twice a day” advice to heart, and commit to making that a part of our daily routine. But the flossing part seems to fall to the wayside for most of our patients.
Brushing your teeth and flossing are both important. You simply do not get the benefits of both if you only brush.
Flossing has unique benefits that can completely change how your teeth look.
Still don’t believe us? Here are just a few of the most important reasons why you should be flossing every day.
Flossing helps clean between the teeth
No matter how good your toothbrush may seem the bristles of a brush can’t clean between the teeth. This is where flossing comes into play.
Floss helps remove any food particles and other things that get between the teeth throughout the day. When these food particles are left in your mouth, they can cause bad breath or contribute to poor dental hygiene. Some dentists may recommend flossing after every meal to help get rid of unwanted food and help your teeth feel cleaner throughout the day.
Flossing also helps remove plaque, which is a sticky substance that can lead to more severe problems, such as cavities and gum disease. Which leads us to our next point:
Flossing helps prevent gum disease
Many people will develop some form of gum disease throughout their lifetime, sometimes without even realizing it! Gum disease is caused by build up of plaque and bacteria around the teeth, which can cause bleeding and inflammation of the gums. In more severe cases, it leads to teeth separating from the gums and falling out.
Gum disease is also linked to other diseases in the rest of the body, including heart disease, strokes, and arthritis. If you are pregnant, gum disease can also contribute to premature birth or a low birth weight for your baby. When you floss, you are not only preventing gum disease, but all the diseases caused or exacerbated by gum disease as well.
Flossing helps prevent gum disease by cleaning out the plaque that builds up between the teeth. Many people will bleed when they first start flossing, but this is normal. After a few days, your teeth should become used to the sensation. If your gums continue to bleed after a few days of flossing, you should consult a dentist about the possibility of more severe gum disease.
Your dentist visits will be easier
When you floss every day, not only will your teeth thank you, your dentist will thank you. It is recommended that you get your teeth cleaned every six months, and if you floss every day, you are saving your dentist the work of flossing your teeth for you and giving you a lecture every time you visit.
So what are some good tips for flossing?
To get started, you should decide on the right floss for your personal needs. Floss is usually made from Teflon or nylon, and both materials are equally effective. Floss also comes in mint and non-mint varieties, and you can choose either based on your personal preference. Finding the right floss for you can help keep flossing as part of your daily routine.
For those with mobility issues, such as difficulty holding the floss with both hands, other options are also available to help make things either. Water flossers are very effective in getting between the teeth, and small individual flossers are available for those who can only use one hand to clean their teeth.
For those with braces, specialty floss threaders are available to help get the floss between the braces and down to the gum, so braces are not an excuse to quit brushing!
You can always talk to a dentist to help discuss the best options for you to keep your dental hygiene routine at its most effective. Professional dentists like us are only looking out for you. We want you to help keep your smile both beautiful and healthy! It’s not just our job – it’s yours.