One of the most common questions patients asked by dentists is whether or not they floss on a daily basis. Often, many patients admit to not flossing as they should. Dental professionals advise people to floss every day along with regular brushing. Flossing the teeth provides a wealth of benefits, some of which include the following.
Plaque is a sticky substance made from sugar and bacteria. Plaque continually forms on the teeth and is only removed through brushing and flossing. Flossing helps remove the plaque from areas your toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing helps prevent the plaque from building up in these areas which normally sticks and builds up on the teeth.
Since plaque does not have a color, you may not see the plaque on the teeth. Therefore, you may assume no plaque is on your teeth after you brush. However, if you floss, you will notice the plaque on the floss once finished.
Prevent Gum Disease
If you do not floss to remove the plaque, the substance will harden and turn into yellow or brown tartar. Tartar is only removed by a dental professional. Tartar buildup will eventually cause gingivitis, which is the swelling and inflammation of the gums. Gingivitis can result in gum disease. The disease is painful and could lead to tooth loss.
Maintain Overall Health
Good oral hygiene leads to good overall health. Flossing prevents gum disease. Gum disease has links to a variety of health maladies, especially heart disease. Dental professional believe bacteria from gum disease could enter into the bloodstream and attach to the fatty deposits. This attachment can lead to blood clots and result in a stroke or heart attack.
The blood clots could also lead to hardened arteries, requiring the heart to pump harder than necessary and result in high blood pressure.
More Effective Tooth Brushing
Dentists typically advise patients to floss before brushing teeth. Brushing the teeth will help loosen the plaque and help dislodge any food or other particles trapped between the teeth. The plaque and food particles block the toothbrush. The toothpaste can better reach between the teeth when you remove the plaque first.
Flossing the teeth will help prevent the onset of cavities in the teeth. The longer the plaque remains on or in between the teeth, the likelihood of cavities increase. Cavities can easily form between the teeth and often are more difficult to spot and treat. You could end up needing more invasive dental work if the cavities do not receive treatment.
An effective way to floss between the teeth is with a water flossing system. A water flosser helps to remove plaque and is a more comfortable way to floss. Many people, particularly those with sensitive gums, do not floss regularly because they find the process painful. The pressure from the water will easily remove the plaque without upsetting any sensitivities.
When plaque remains on teeth, they become weaker. Plaque causes cavities between the teeth, which lead to weakening and breakage over time.
Healthy for Pregnant Women
If you are expecting a child, flossing is especially important. During pregnancy, the gums can become more sensitive than normal. This often results in less flossing, which then can cause gum disease. Gum disease, in turn, can possibly result in prematurity and low birth weight in the child.
Flossing is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to care for your teeth. Please contact us at Posada Dental to make an appointment for a cleaning. We will be happy to assess your oral health and help get you back on track with your oral hygiene.