• Bruce Salinger

A Guide to Flossing and Its Many Benefits

Taking care of your body requires a full-time effort. Along with eating right and exercising on a regular basis, you must also maintain proper oral health. This entails visiting your dentist for twice-yearly checkups, brushing twice per day, and flossing on a regular basis.


Flossing is often neglected, which can have a disastrous impact on your health. In addition to diminishing the look of your smile and raising your risk of cavities, neglecting flossing can also lead to more serious effects. Accordingly, you must make this essential dental care routine a priority. Here's what you can expect when you stay on top of oral health and wellness.


Why Is Flossing So Crucial to Your Health and Wellness?


Along with regular brushing, flossing between teeth is an essential component of oral health. Food debris, plaque, and bacteria can get stuck between teeth and along the gum line, where brushes can't reach them. When left to linger, they will inflame gums and cause symptoms like bleeding, swelling, sensitivity, and bad breath. Fortunately, flossing is capable of removing debris in hard-to-reach areas for comprehensive dental care.


In addition to helping you maintain optimum oral hygiene for life, regular flossing can also help you avoid more serious health issues. Untreated gum disease is linked to a variety of major diseases and medical problems, including heart disease, diabetes and many others. Because flossing is a major factor in preventing all forms of gum disease, it's crucial to maintain your overall health and wellness.


What Happens When You Don't Floss Regularly?


In addition to putting you at risk of major health issues, not flossing can also lead to the development of cavities. When food debris is left to linger between the teeth, you have a greater chance of developing cavities in those areas. These cavities can become quite severe and are often very hard to detect without the assistance of a dentist.


Untreated cavities can also lead to tooth loss when the issue becomes severe. Periodontitis is a form of severe gum disease that causes irreversible effects. When this infection progresses to the tooth roots and underlying bone tissue, you're at risk of losing one or more teeth. Tooth loss is a major cosmetic concern, but it also impacts chewing and speaking.


How Can You Improve Your Flossing Technique?


First and foremost, you must floss on a daily basis for the best results. While you can floss at any time, flossing at night prevents bacteria from lingering on your teeth while you sleep. Additionally, you must use the proper technique:


  • Wind about eighteen inches of dental floss around your middle fingers

  • Use your thumb and index fingers to isolate about one to two inches of floss

  • Gently slide this smaller portion of floss between the teeth and along the gum line

  • When the small portion of floss is dirty, use your fingers to move to a clean section


Use even, gentle motions when sliding the floss between teeth. You don't want to inadvertently damage gum tissues, which can lead to redness and swelling.


Additionally, some people find using traditional floss difficult. In this case, consider using a floss pick. Floss picks feature a small handle that many people find easier to maneuver when compared to traditional products. You can also invest in a water pick, which uses a stream of pressurized water to clean between the teeth.


No matter what option you use, proper dental care is key to a beautiful smile, fresh breath and good overall health. Taking pride in your smile also allows you to make a wonderful impression on others, both professionally and personally.


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