Flossing involves the use of an interdental cleaner to clean those tight spaces in between your teeth. Some people only floss when they can feel something obvious stuck in their teeth, while others maintain a strict flossing routine and even carry floss around with them!
But is flossing really that important to your dental health? Here’s how much flossing can impact your oral health, as well as how often you should consider flossing to see the benefits!
Yes! Flossing Gets Where Your Toothbrush Can’t Reach
The fact is that, as great as your toothbrush is, it can’t get to those tight spaces between your teeth. However, plaque, bacteria, and food particles can quickly build up in these areas. Some experts estimate that you miss about 40 percent of your mouth when you brush but don’t floss .
Brushing only removes plaque and bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth, but where two teeth touch, your toothbrush can’t reach. This makes flossing absolutely necessary to clean plaque out of these areas where it can accumulate and cause oral health problems!
Flossing Can Help Prevent Tooth Decay, Gum Disease, and Bad Breath
Flossing goes a long way towards preventing cavities and even gum disease . Your teeth are constantly exposed to bacteria and food particles that combine to make plaque, which can damage tooth enamel when not removed regularly. Plaque can also accumulate around the gumline, which can lead to gum disease.
By not removing plaque from between your teeth, you increase your risk for gum disease and tooth decay. One of the symptoms of gum disease is chronic bad breath that doesn’t go away even with brushing and using mouthwash. You need to floss to get a truly clean smile!
How Often Should You Floss for the Most Benefits?
Good news—you only need to floss once every day to see the benefits. Flossing more than once isn’t necessary unless you have food stuck in your teeth. Although it doesn’t matter what time of day you floss, there is some evidence that flossing before you brush may be better .
If you haven’t flossed in a while and begin a new flossing routine, keep in mind that your gums might experience some discomfort at first, including soreness and bleeding. However, these symptoms should go away as you settle into your routine, so follow up with your dentist if they continue to happen.
Remember to be gentle when you floss, as flossing too harshly can damage your gum tissue and even contribute to gum recession.
Don’t Ignore Flossing for Your Oral Health!
Flossing plays an essential role in keeping your smile clean to prevent many common oral health issues. Floss is relatively inexpensive, but if you prefer, you can invest in interdental cleaners to make flossing easier, particularly if you have mobility concerns. Don’t skip flossing for your smile!