Just as you have to brush your teeth every day to keep your teeth clean and healthy, you also have to floss every day to keep your gums healthy. Although some people may not like to floss or forget to floss, this important daily ritual is essential for overall good health.
The Benefits of Flossing
Flossing is an essential part of dental hygiene. If you don’t floss, you increase your chances of various forms of gum disease. There is medical evidence linking gum disease to serious health issues such a heart disease, strokes, and even cancer. Gum disease also damages the bones that support teeth.
Another benefit of flossing is having a cleaner mouth. Flossing removes food particles from between the teeth. Flossing also removes the plaque, a sticky substance made of bacteria. It is this plaque that can lead to cavities and/or gum disease. Bad breath is another result of growing bacteria.
If you don’t floss because afterward your gums are sore or they bleed, the solution is to floss more often. The soreness and bleeding will end in a few short weeks of regular flossing. These two issues are due to unhealthy and inflamed gums. By flossing, your gums get healthier.
Choosing the Floss
The first step is choosing the type of floss that is best for your teeth. There are various types of floss available. There is thin floss that looks like a narrow string, and dental tape that is flat and wide. There is also waxed and regular thin floss or dental tape. Another option is using floss that is unflavored or flavored.
Finding the right type of floss for your needs may encourage you to floss more frequently. Waxed floss makes it easier to slip the floss between your teeth, and is a good choice for those with tight teeth. Dental tape is good for people with large hands, or for those who find it difficult to grip thin floss. There are also floss picks or holders if you have trouble with manual dexterity.
Learning to Floss
If you really hate flossing, perhaps you aren’t doing it as effectively as you can. There are videos online that offer a few techniques on how to properly floss your teeth. You can also ask the dental hygienist at your next teeth cleaning to show you how to floss your teeth.
Your teeth have to last a lifetime. You can have healthy teeth and gums, and fresh breath by brushing twice a day and flossing at least once.
About the Author – Dr. Gurgen (George) Sahakyan is an experienced Dentist in Glendale CA who has been providing dental care since 2008.