Flossing for Your Oral Health

12 December 2014

Did you know that 25% of Canadians don’t floss their teeth?! Many people overlook the importance of flossing when it comes to their oral health, but flossing daily is essential for maintaining a healthy mouth. When looking at the health of your gums, your dentist can usually tell whether you’ve been flossing or not. By not flossing, you’re missing more than one-third of your tooth surface which can lead to surface changes, bad breath, gingivitis and periodontal (gum) disease. Brushing alone is not enough to keep oral health problems and cavities at bay which is why you should floss away!

The Importance of Flossing

Flossing helps to remove plaque and bacteria build up between the teeth that brushing alone can’t always reach, especially those back molars. This buildup can create cavities between the teeth if not removed regularly. Plaque forms naturally as a part of eating and drinking and is the main culprit of gum disease. The problem is when plaque hardens into tarter which is much harder to remove, but can be removed by a dental professional. Flossing at least once a day will help to reduce the risk of plaque hardening into tarter.

The truth is that flossing doesn’t take as long as you may think! If you haven’t flossed in a long time your gums may bleed a little, but it’s normal because you haven’t flossed! Remember that flossing shouldn’t be painful, and any bleeding or initial discomfort while flossing should disappear within a week or two. If it doesn’t, we advise you to visit your dentist.

Getting into a flossing routine is much harder than flossing itself. The trick is to floss while you’re watching T.V. or listening to music; anything that will take the focus off of the often dreaded task at hand.

Flossing is a preventative measure to avoid oral health problems, and it only takes a couple of minutes! Devoting this time in your day to flossing will keep your mouth healthy and fresh.

Your dentist has probably given you a lesson or two on flossing, but here are a few key points to remember:

  • Floss in a “C” shape to get every nook and cranny in between teeth from the base of every tooth and along the gum line
  • Flossing your back teeth is just as important (if not more important) than the front teeth because it is easier for food to get stuck in this area as a result of chewing. It is also harder for your toothbrush to reach the back where bacteria and plaque are building

Flossing Alternatives

Some people find flossing with regular floss difficult, but today there are a number of alternative flossing methods available to make flossing easier. Pre-threaded floss, dental pics, disposable flossers and superfloss are just some of the flosses to choose from. Superfloss is precut spongy floss that has a stiffened threader on both ends. This is ideal for those with braces or an inner retainer that would block regular floss from getting through to the base of the gums. Your dentist can give you some suggestions and may even provide you with some samples to try. Whatever floss you prefer to use, the important thing is to use proper technique and keep up with it!

If this wasn’t enough to convince you that you should make flossing a part of your oral hygiene routine, here are 5 additional reasons why you should floss.

Oakville Dental Place Office

At Oakville Place Dental Office we believe that your oral health is an important part of your overall health. We are here to help you and your family get quality dental care which is why we provide a range of services for a healthy mouth. Healthy teeth and gums not only help you maintain a beautiful smile, but they also prevent infection and reduce the incidence of oral decay.

If you have any questions about your oral health or would like to schedule a dental appointment, contact us today. We are committed to keeping your smile bright and healthy and will provide a comfortable experience from start to finish with an outstanding level of care!

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