Brushing our teeth has become the epitome of mastering a habit for most of us. However, brushing alone is not enough to remove food debris and bacteria from your teeth. As most dentists advise, the tandem of brushing and flossing is the most effective way to prevent the formation of plaque.
If you have built a habit of brushing your teeth, it’s not too late for you to add a minty dental floss to your daily oral hygiene. In this post, we will share the impact of flossing on your oral health and how to floss properly without hurting your gums.
Benefits of flossing
A tooth has surfaces that only a string of floss can reach. If done daily, flossing is a powerful habit that will provide the following benefits:
- Removes hidden food debris: We have tight gaps between our teeth where food particles can get stuck. Though brushing and the use of a toothpick can get rid of the visible food particles, there will still be some residues left in the gaps between your teeth. With flossing, you leave no room for bacterial growth between your teeth.
- Prevents the formation of plaque: The disease-causing bacteria that causes tooth decay thrives in the presence of starch and sugar. Daily flossing removes the chances for the bacteria to develop into plaque between your teeth and near your gum line.
- Keeps your breath fresh: Have you ever wondered why you still get bad breath even if you brushed your teeth? The odor comes from the presence of bacteria from plaque and food debris that is stuck in your mouth. Dental floss and mouthwash are a powerful combination to keep your breath fresh throughout the day aside from brushing.
- Protects your gums from periodontal disease: Dental floss removes plaque that contains disease-causing bacteria. It prevents the bacteria from irritating the gums, causing inflammation or gingivitis, and infiltrating the bloodstream through your tooth root.
- Prevents tooth decay and teeth stains: Food debris that stays between your teeth increases the likelihood of damaging your tooth enamel. The bacteria releases acids that weaken the enamel and creates small cavities. With a daily floss routine, you lower your risk for developing hidden cavities between your teeth that can lead to tooth infection if left untreated.
How to floss your teeth properly
The ideal way to clean your mouth is to floss before you brush your teeth. Your dental floss will push bacteria and food debris out of the gaps in your teeth. If you brush after you floss, the bacteria will be left in your mouth and continue damaging your teeth.
If you always hurt your gums while flossing, maybe you’re doing it the wrong way. It’s normal for the gums to bleed in the first few days. However, that should not be the case for daily flossing. Here’s how to properly floss your teeth.
- Cut at least 20 to 24 inches of dental floss.
- Roll the ends of the floss on your index finger on both your left and right hand and leave a few inches to floss your teeth.
- Hold the floss and gently place it between your teeth and move the string in an upward and downward direction above the gumline.
- Repeat the steps and use a new part of the floss for each tooth.
Teeth cleaning at Soft Touch Dental
Preventing any dental condition and keeping your teeth and gums healthy reduces your risk of any serious medical condition. Mastering the habit of flossing today will let your future self thank you later.
To jumpstart your new brush and floss routine, give your teeth and gums a reset by having a dental professional thoroughly clean them for you. Soft Touch Dental provides preventive dental services such as professional teeth cleaning in Florissant, MO.