In our Long Branch dentist office, we understand how important it is to floss correctly. However, many people simply don’t do it. Even those that floss on a regular basis may not be getting the full benefit of flossing due to flossing incorrectly. Given how essential flossing is to your oral health, it is important to incorporate this simple step into your daily routine.
Start by purchasing the right type of floss. A lot of people aren’t aware that floss comes in different thicknesses. If your teeth are perfectly straight, you should use a thin floss since there is no room in between the teeth. Other people need a thicker floss because their teeth are further apart. Experiment with different brands until you find one that feels comfortable. You can even buy disposable flossing tools to carry with you if that makes it easier to remember.
When you do floss, be sure to do so gently so that your gums don’t become irritated. In our Long Branch dentist office, we can show you how to do so and teach your children as well. Start out by placing the floss in between your teeth and gently moving it downwards by wiggling it. Make sure that you floss all the way down by your gums. You have to get the area in between your gums and teeth in order to be effective. This is the step that most people miss, but it is also the most important because plaque and food can become stuck in between the gums and teeth and leave it there can lead to gum disease in addition to severely bad breath.
While flossing, be sure to use enough floss so that you never use the same section for more than one tooth. If you do, you could be spreading bacteria. You should also start with clean hands so that no additional germs are introduced into the mouth. When you are done flossing be sure to rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash to kill any bacteria that is remaining in your mouth. Following these simple steps will help your teeth and gums to remain healthier.
Many of our patients ask why flossing is such a big deal and if they can skip it. In our Long Branch dentist office, we advise flossing every day and skipping it only when completely necessary. The most basic consequence of failing to floss is terrible breath also known as halitosis. If your breath starts to smell terrible, it may be due to a lack of flossing. As the plaque and food remain stuck in the mouth, they will naturally start to smell foul so many people end up with terrible breath and will not know why.
On a more serious note, not flossing can cause cavities and gum disease. This condition can cause the gums to recede, leaving more of the tooth structure and roots exposed and susceptible to infection. When untreated, bone loss can occur as can eventual tooth loss. This makes brushing and flossing an important first step to staying in good oral health.