Is Flossing Absolutely Necessary

Is Flossing Absolutely Necessary

Feb 01, 2023

Maintaining proper dental hygiene helps prevent oral and overall health issues. One of the methods dentists recommend for excellent oral health is flossing. However, some people skip this oral hygiene step, thinking it is unnecessary. Read on to learn why you should floss at least once daily.

Why Is Flossing Important?

When you eat, some food particles get stuck between your teeth. If they are big, you may experience tooth pain or discomfort. In addition, the debris combines with bacteria to form plaque which contains acids. They attack the enamel causing it to decalcify and form cavities.

When you brush your teeth, the bristles may not remove all the food debris or plaque between your teeth. Flossing helps to remove these from the hard-to-reach places and near the gum line. The action reinforces your dental hygiene habits and prevents several oral health problems.

Effects of Not Flossing on Your Mouth

Are you one of those people that avoid flossing their teeth? Below are some of the oral health issues you are susceptible to.

  1. Tooth decay and cavities

Plaque builds up between your teeth when you do not floss properly or regularly. Since your toothbrush can not remove it, the plaque will harden into tartar. Consequently, the area of the tooth with tartar will become decayed and form cavities. Cavities between teeth are harder to detect and treat, and you may lose your tooth.

  1. Discoloration

When plaque and tartar build-up on teeth, they cause teeth to lose their bright white color. In addition, the acids in them erode the enamel causing the yellow dentin to show. As a result, your teeth will be discolored and unattractive. The stains will appear between the teeth if you do not floss.

  1. Gum disease

Accumulated food debris, plaque, and tartar between your teeth will cause gum disease. They allow bacteria to breed on the gum line between teeth resulting in inflammation. When the disease advances you may lose several teeth. You also become prone to heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and premature birth.

  1. Halitosis

Not flossing can cause you to have bad breath or halitosis. When food particles and bacteria are not removed between your teeth, the area emits a bad odor. Also, the plaque that forms in the area causes you to have bad breath. Flossing removes the particles and plaque and prevents halitosis.

Is It Too Late to Begin Flossing?

If you have not been flossing regularly or at all, it is not too late to begin. In fact, the dentist in Phoenix advises patients with early-stage cavities to start flossing since it can reverse decay. Also, encourage your kids to floss, as it will prevent oral health issues in the future. Adults or senior citizens who have not been flossing can begin this oral hygiene step.

Once you decide to start flossing, the first thing you should do is choose a suitable type of floss. You can opt for the traditional waxed thread or plastic flossers. Alternatively, you can use power water flossers or interdental cleaners. If you have dental appliances or implants, seek help. You can visit the dental offices at Open Wide Dental for proper flossing techniques or tools.

Next, you should set aside a few minutes to floss your teeth at least once daily. Flossing should take place right before brushing your teeth to ensure no debris remains. Most people find that the best time to floss is before bed, as you have enough time to reach all your teeth.

How to Floss Properly

Flossing is not just about pulling the floss back and forth. You should ensure that you use the right techniques. First, you should cut about 12 inches of floss. Next, wind it around the middle finger of both hands. Ensure you leave a gap of four inches where the floss will go into your mouth.

Guide the floss between your teeth. Move it up and down along the sides of each tooth in a gentle motion. Next, move the floss towards your gums and clean along the gum line. Floss gently to avoid irritating your gums. Once you have finished, slide the floss out from between your teeth. Discard the used floss and get a new one, then repeat the process for all your teeth.

We welcome patients from all surrounding locations to visit our dental office in Phoenix, AZ

  • Biltmore Area
  • Glendale

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