Maintaining healthy teeth and gums isn’t complicated at all. It simply starts with practicing consistent and proper dental hygiene. Like most people, you’re sure to brush your teeth at least once or twice a day. What about flossing, though? Do you struggle to remain consistent in this area? If so, continue reading, as a dentist in Temple explains why flossing is so important!
These are the Pillars of Dental Hygiene
Billions of oral bacteria live inside your mouth. However, the number present can exponentially grow when the mouth isn’t cleaned adequately. The two most important activities are toothbrushing and flossing, as they complement each other perfectly. If either cleaning method is skipped, you’re leaving the door open to tooth and gum decay.
Why Flossing is So Beneficial
Because of its flexible shape and soft material, dental floss can maneuver into the snug spaces between the teeth. In doing so, it provides the following benefits:
If allowed to grow unfettered, bacteria can quickly turn into plaque. Shortly after eating a meal, the hardening process starts, which is why it’s so important to perform dental hygiene within 30 minutes of eating or drinking. Doing so prevents plaque from releasing corrosive fluids that wear down tooth enamel and gum tissue.
Bacteria Removal Beneath the Gum Line
When plaque growth is ignored, it can eventually settle beneath the gum line to cause germ pockets to form, inflammation and bleeding. These are some of the early warning signs of gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease). By taking swift action and making flossing a priority, you can possibly avoid permanent damage and rejuvenate your gum tissue.
It should be noted that whenever you experience gum bleeding, it’s important to bring it to your dentist’s attention so he or she can perform a careful examination.
Additionally, flossing ensures that your teeth will remain strong and healthy. Toothbrushing can only clean around 60% of the surfaces of your teeth, but with floss being able to get into the tight spaces between them, you can remove any excess debris. This will leave you with healthier gums that fit tightly around the base of your teeth so they can remain stable and functional.
Improved Total Wellness
Given that plaque can travel to other parts of the body, the benefits of flossing aren’t just relegated to the mouth. By flossing on a regular basis, you can prevent plaque from traveling to the heart and causing life-threatening blockage. Additionally, cleaning between your teeth can reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure and cancer.
Now that you understand why flossing is important, the next step is to execute consistently. The optimal frequency is twice daily, but you can start by committing to flossing once a day. That’s a huge improvement from not flossing at all. Additionally, make it a habit to visit a local dentist regularly so you’ll know just how effective your new efforts have been!
About the Author
Dr. Richard Fossum earned his dental degree from the University of Texas Branch in Houston. Throughout his career, which has spanned over two decades, he has maintained a patient-first approach. Thus, Dr. Fossum takes the time to encourage everyone to practice the best dental hygiene to promote excellent oral and overall health. He provides caring and thorough preventive care at Fossum Dental Group, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.