Flossing, the most common form of interdental cleaning can help you avoid a world of woes when it comes to your oral health.
According to The American Dental Association, you should floss at least once a day. And Dr. Blum, who provides excellent Dentistry in Ft. Lauderdale, agrees. In his experience even a second pass couldn’t hurt. But if it’s only once a day, he says to “remember that in the evening time before sleep is the best time to do it.”
Like many people, you may have wondered how important flossing is– or if you need to do it at all, if you are in the habit of brushing your teeth. Here are a few, handy facts about flossing and its impact on your dental needs.
The bad news is that no matter how dedicated you are to your brushing regime, you still need to floss. But the good news is that you can have an immense positive effect on your health and well-being with just a few minutes a day using this technique.
The most obvious reason to floss is to remove something that gets stuck between your teeth. But it’s important to remember that it also will help keep plaque from developing in those hidden crevices. A toothbrush can’t help you there. But did you know that there’s another, very important reason to floss? The thread itself carries the toothpaste, with the all-important ingredient fluoride, between the teeth.
So what happens if you don’t floss? To simplify things, imagine a boat traveling on the oceans. That’s your mouth. Over time, without regular repair and cleaning, the boat’s wooden planks will develop mildew and begin to sag. So too, without proper flossing and up-to-date Dentistry check-ups (maintenance), your mouth can develop a similar problem. Just like the ocean waves lapping at the sides on the boat, bacteria is always present in our mouth’s environment. This bacteria thrives on food particles left on the surfaces of the teeth, which it digests through the release of acids. A filmy mucus, plaque, is formed. Once plaque hardens into dental calculus, or tartar, it leads to cavities.
Unfortunately, you may be all too aware of the next stage… the redness and swelling of the gums, or gingivitis. Untreated, gingivitis can become periodontal disease. To continue our boat analogy, that’s when you need to send out an “S.O.S.”! Why’s that? Because it isn’t just the wooden planks (your gums), which are being eroded. By this point, more noxious types of bacteria have started corroding away at the very foundations of the boat itself (the bones and support structures of the teeth)!
So, how many times should you floss? Dr. Blum is adamant that “flossing is the key to dental maintenance.” He adds: “Just floss the teeth you would like to keep.”