If your dentist Bolton asks you whether you floss regularly, you will probably answer yes, even if you rarely floss. Studies indicate that more than half of the American population doesn’t floss regularly, while around 20% do not floss at all. Most people consider flossing an annoying chore. Why do you have to floss at night when you are tired instead of retiring to bed? The good news is that you can floss at any time of the day; it doesn’t have to be at night. To reap the most out of flossing, consistency is key. You may still miss a day here or there. However, ensuring that you floss on most days is what keeps your mouth healthy.
What to Expect After Flossing
Is flossing worth it? What are the advantages and disadvantages of flossing? How long before flossing makes a difference? You probably have these questions about flossing. Here’s how flossing works:
When a certain area of your body is irritated, the body automatically sends fluids to that area to help it heal. For example, if you get a sliver on your palm, your palm swells, becomes sore and bleeds when you squeeze it. This stimulates the body’s natural healing. The same is true for your gums. Many people avoid flossing because their gums are swollen after flossing. It is normal to have swelling, bleeding, or soreness in your gums, especially after flossing. The swollen gums after flossing trigger the body’s inflammation response. With this bleeding and inflammation, your body is trying to irrigate food particles, accumulated plaque, and bacteria from your mouth.
You should not fail to floss just because it makes your gums bleed. The bleeding may be heavy at first, but the more you get used to flossing, the bleeding subsides. There are many benefits of flossing every night. As you incorporate flossing into your daily routine, the time you spend flossing will be shorter, your teeth and gums will be healthier, and the bleeding will cease.
Reasons Flossing is Crucial to Your Dental Hygiene
When it comes to cleaning your teeth, flossing does around 40% of the work of removing plaque and sticky bacteria from your teeth. It enables you to clean all five surfaces of your teeth. Without flossing your teeth, you only clean three of the teeth’s surfaces and leave two. Letting plaque accumulate on your gums could lead to tooth decay, swollen gums, dental cavities, and gum disease.
Flossing Improves Your Smile
Does flossing make your teeth whiter? Experts agree that flossing your teeth daily contributes to having a brighter, whiter smile. Your teeth will appear brighter and more radiant. Flossing does a better job of removing food particles between the teeth than brushing. It reduces the bacteria in your mouth and prevents plaque buildup.
Improves Your Overall Health
Flossing improves your overall health, reducing the risk of diabetes, stroke, respiratory disease, and heart disease. Everything in your body is intertwined. Your oral health also affects other parts of the body. Infections that start in your mouth could spread to other areas of your body.
Prevents Gum Disease
Dental flossing prevents gingivitis and gum disease. The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis, whose main symptoms include bleeding and swelling of the gums. If you have healthy gums, your gums should not bleed whenever you brush or floss your teeth. If your gums often bleed, it is a sign that you should brush and floss your teeth more often.
If gingivitis is not treated at an early stage, it leads to a more serious condition known as periodontitis. Periodontitis could make your gums pull away from the teeth, resulting in receding gums. It could also lead to bone loss, making your teeth become loose. If periodontitis is not treated, it could trigger an inflammatory response throughout your body. Brushing and flossing your teeth will reduce the risk of gum disease.
Reduces Bad Breath
Also known as halitosis, bad breath is a common problem. Flossing is one of the effective ways of keeping bad breath away. When you eat, some food is trapped between your teeth and starts to decay; you could have a foul-smelling breath if you do not remove these food particles from your teeth. In addition, when plaque accumulates between or around your teeth, it starts eroding your tooth enamel, causing cavities or even gum disease, which contributes to bad breath.
More Effective than Brushing
Most people consider flossing as an optional addition to brushing. However, both teeth cleaning methods are complementary. Brushing and flossing work together to preserve your dental well-being. If you are only used to brushing your teeth, but you don’t floss, it is like washing the outside of the cup but neglecting the inside walls. Up to 35% of your teeth’s surfaces remain dirty when you only brush but do not floss. The bristles of your toothbrush cannot reach certain parts of the teeth. Unlike a toothbrush, dental floss is effective in dislodging food and bacteria that are held in the tight spaces between your teeth and gums.
An Inexpensive Way of Keeping Your Oral Health in Check
Regular flossing is a cost-effective way of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. It prevents the development of dental cavities that would cost you more to treat. Food particles, plaque, or other debris that remain on your teeth could impact your teeth negatively, causing a wide range of oral issues. Therefore, it is important to make flossing a daily habit.
May Promote Heart Health
You might be surprised to learn that good dental hygiene does not just benefit your teeth and gums but could also help your heart. According to a study conducted in 2019, people who observed oral hygiene had a lower risk of heart failure and atrial fibrillation. According to the American Heart Association, there is a connection between oral health and heart health. Flossing is an effective, inexpensive way of boosting your oral hygiene as well as your overall health.
How to Floss Properly
- You should have 12-18 inches of the floss; wind the floss around the middle finger on each hand, ensuring that you leave an inch or two of the dental floss to work with.
- Hold the dental floss firmly with your thumbs and index fingers and slide it between your teeth gently.
- Create a C-shape with the floss as you hug it against one of the surfaces of your teeth
- Use the floss to scrape up and down the whole tooth, ensuring that you go as further under the gums as possible.
- Repeat this process by hugging the floss against the surface of the other tooth that you are working between.
- When removing the floss, perform an upward motion and bring the floss away from your teeth.
- Move to every tooth as your repeat this procedure. Ensure that you floss the sides of the teeth that do not have neighbouring teeth and the backsides of your molars.
If you have any questions about your oral health, including the best flossing techniques, request an appointment with Smiles on Queen. Our dentists will be happy to help you find the best ways to take care of your oral health.