Ah, flossing. That activity that we all know we should be doing, but that we only do in a mad rush 30 minutes before our dentist appointment.
While you may only do it so you can answer “yes” to the dreaded question “are you flossing every day”, the truth is – just brushing your teeth every day isn’t enough.
While your toothbrush can reach three of the tooth’s surfaces, you’ll be in trouble if you keep on ignoring the remaining two surfaces that only floss can reach. If they are not regularly flossed, the spaces between your teeth become a breeding ground for plaque and bacteria.
Read on to discover why flossing is so important and a few steps on the quickest and most effective way to floss.
Protect your gums
Have you noticed your gums looking red or puffy recently? If so, it’s definitely time to bring out the floss. Consistently unhealthy gums increase the risk of gum disease, gingivitis and periodontitis which can all cause tooth loss.
If you notice your gums bleeding when you brush them, you may mistakenly think you should avoid flossing. In reality, flossing daily helps improve the strength and health of your gums and will prevent that bleeding from occurring in the future.
By cleaning out bacteria-laden tartar and plaque, daily flossing helps protect against any nasty gum diseases and helps your mouth look fresher and cleaner – when combined with regular brushing of course!
Protect against other diseases
You may be surprised to learn the effect your gum health can have on the rest of your body. If left untreated, all that bacteria in between and around your teeth can accumulate and turn into gingivitis. This can then enter your bloodstream and in severe cases, cause diabetes and lung and heart disease. Don’t skip the floss – it only takes a couple of minutes and can help your health out big time.
Flossing saves you money – yes really!
Let’s put this in perspective. One pack of floss will set you back $3 and will last you over 3 months if you use it every day, adding up to roughly $12 a year. When you take into account all of the risks associated with not flossing altogether, you would be looking at dental bills far higher than just $12 a year. It always pays to take whatever steps you can to improve not only your oral health but your overall health too – and in doing so, trying your best to avoid unexpected medical bills.
So, how do you floss properly?
There’s more to flossing than simply putting it between your teeth.
- Break off about 45cm of floss and wind it between your fingers, leaving a taught section to use on your teeth.
- Holding the floss tight in your thumb and index finger, guide it between two of your teeth.
- Carefully slide the floss up and down, ensuring it strokes both sides of the two teeth.
- When you reach the gums, gently make a ‘c’ shaped arch with the floss at the tooth’s base.
- Move the floss along between your thumb and index finger and continue these steps from tooth to tooth.
If you have braces, these steps may look a little different. As your braces are prone to holding onto food when you eat, it’s important to keep the flossing up. You can purchase floss that is specifically designed to get in and around the wires with ease, so when your braces come off, you’ll be left with healthy gums and a beautiful smile.
How can TLC help?
If you haven’t been flossing regularly, don’t stress! There’s no time better than the present to make this quick and easy task part of your everyday routine – and we bet as soon as you start you’ll love seeing the rewards!
At TLC Dental, we believe in everyday dentistry solutions that will keep your teeth healthy for life. We pride ourselves on our care and attention to detail with your teeth, as well as alleviating any of your worries and concerns with our warm and professional service.
Our highly skilled team of dentists offer a wide range of common dentistry procedures if you’re after a simple check-up, while our hygienists take a preventative approach to cleaning so your teeth can shine.
If you’d like to get in touch just give us a call – we can’t wait to help you make the most of that beautiful smile!