There is one hygiene habit that is dreaded across the entire United States. Yet, this one dreaded habit can make your smile brighter, prevent tooth loss, and benefit your entire general health. Do you know what it is?
Flossing is a dental hygiene procedure that should be done at least once a day. For many, flossing seems like a chore and they are happy to put it off. However, have you ever wondered why your dental hygienist and dentist ask every time you go in for a cleaning or dental procedure, “Have you been flossing?” It is because they understand the importance of flossing and how it benefits your oral and overall health.
Flossing is an essential part of taking care of your health. In fact, flossing is believed to be more important than brushing. Yes, you read that right! Flossing is able to do what toothbrushes, your tongue, and natural saliva cannot do – get between the tight spaces of your teeth to clean them. The surfaces of your teeth are relatively easy to keep clean with minimal effort. The natural production of saliva breaks down left over food particles and softens plaque that forms on the surfaces of the teeth. This allows your toothbrush to easily brush away plaque and keep the surfaces of the teeth clean.
However, the spaces in between the teeth are not so easily cleaned. These are tight-fitting spaces where food particles get trapped and are not able to be brushed away. Think of how a popcorn kernel can get stuck between your teeth and how difficult it can be to get out. Now, put that in perspective to everything else that you eat. Bacteria naturally forms in the mouth on a daily basis, and these bacteria will attack anything that is unnatural. So, food particles in between the teeth attract these bacteria, the bacteria break down the food particles, and once they are done they will grow and spread to form plaque. This can happen within just a few hours after eating, which is why your teeth often feel “fuzzy” at the end of the day. If this plaque is not removed, serious effects will begin such as gingivitis, gum disease, tooth loss, and even heart disease.
Flossing may not be your favorite hygiene practice, but it is essential to your entire health. At Gainesville Dental Group, we are proud to partner with our patients to help them achieve optimal oral health. At your next appointment, ask us what type of floss will be most effective for you. We will be happy to give you some floss to take home, pointers for the best techniques, and encouragement to keep at it!
Gainesville, GA 30501