From early in life, many people are taught to care for their teeth through proper brushing twice a day. As a result, brushing your teeth becomes a part of your daily routine that you cannot forego without much discomfort. However, the consequences of forgetting to floss are not as apparent. So it is not unusual for those who are hard-pressed for time to use dental floss occasionally rather than regularly.
Importance of Flossing
It is unfortunate that non-flossers don’t realize the critical role of flossing at least once a day for their oral health. Dental floss helps to remove biofilm and dental plaque from the surface of your teeth in tight spaces that toothbrush bristles cannot reach: between two teeth and between the base of your teeth and the gums.
The problem with antimicrobial mouth rinse is that while it kills the harmful bacteria in your mouth that form plaque, it does not remove the food debris and stubborn tartar that lodges in these tight spaces.
Studies show that proper dental care, which includes regular brushing and flossing, is important to maintain a healthy and bright smile. A healthy oral environment in turn helps to prevent a range of oral conditions, including bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay, as well as the associated health issues that can be life threatening, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancers.
How to Start Flossing – by Dr. Jeffrey Stein of Lancaster, CA
Flossing involves the use a dental floss – a thin, nylon or plastic thread – that you run between two adjacent teeth to remove food fragments and plaque from areas that a toothbrush typically misses. A good alternative for dental floss is dental tape, which is slightly thicker than thread.
On your next dental visit with Dr. Jeffrey Stein, ask him to give you some dental floss or tape and advise you on how to use it properly, how often you should floss, and other useful tips to improve your oral health. Lancaster dentist, Dr. Stein is more than willing to provide a demonstration of proper flossing.
If you choose to start flossing immediately, it is recommended that you use a manageable length of floss (about 18 inches or 45 cm). Pull the floss tightly as you insert it between two adjacent teeth and then scrape all accessible surfaces of each tooth, moving away from the gums to avoid injury.
Flossing is obviously more tasking than brushing, which is why most people don’t do it. However, flossing everyday can help remove food debris stuck between your teeth and prevent plaque buildup, giving you an overall healthy mouth.