A stunning 50% of all Americans have some type of gum disease. To combat this issue, in addition to brushing your teeth, the American Dental Association recommends flossing once per day for all children and adults. There is a minimal financial outlay and no risk of harm, so it only makes sense to follow this recommendation. Yet many people do not know much about flossing. Here is why and how to floss your teeth.
Flossing your teeth has numerous benefits. These include, but are not limited to:
Removing Food Debris and Bacteria: Food particles and bacteria can easily accumulate in the spaces between your teeth, and they are not easy to remove solely through brushing. Flossing removes these items, reducing your risk for tooth decay.
Guarding Against Gum Disease: Flossing also removes food debris and bacteria from the gums. The earliest stage of gum disease is inflammation known as gingivitis, but over time it can progress to tooth loss. Flossing can stop and even reverse gum disease in its initial stages.
Cost Effectiveness: Flossing, along with brushing, is the cheapest way to protect your teeth. Why not invest a few cents and a few minutes per day to avoid expensive dental treatments later on?
Boosting Overall Health: Untreated dental disease can lead to dangerous systemic illnesses. Taking the time to floss can help prevent your oral health from deteriorating and affecting your overall physical condition.
Improving Appearance: Flossing helps you remove embarrassing food particles from between your teeth and minimizes staining by decreasing the number of stain-causing bacteria in your mouth.
“Flossing” refers to interdental cleaning, or cleaning between the teeth. Dental floss, made from one or strands of filament, is the most popular type of flossing device. However, you might also choose a plastic or wooden interdental cleaning device or even a Waterpik, which uses a stream of water. Your dentist can help you decide which device is best for you.
Using Dental Floss
Dental floss can be confusing to many people, and packages do not always have clear instructions. Here’s what to do:
- Pull out about 18 inches of floss
- Wrap the floss around your middle fingers with a gap of one or two inches
- Use your index fingers and thumbs to pull the floss taut
- Place the floss between two neighboring teeth and gently slide it up and down
- Glide the floss to the base of each tooth and slowly work it beneath the gum line
- Move to a clean section of floss and repeat the process for the next two teeth
Flossing is quite inexpensive and easy, but it leaves many people confused. If you have any questions or concerns, ask your dentist or hygienist to demonstrate proper flossing technique at your next appointment.
Ready to Make Your Appointment?
If you’re ready to get started with a progressive yet conservative approach to your dental health, contact Creekview Dental today at 651-738-8204 to schedule your first appointment.