Oral hygiene is one of the most important practices to follow to ensure you remain strong and healthy. Oral cleanliness includes brushing your teeth twice daily, avoiding too much sugar, drinking plenty of water, flossing, and regular dental checkups. Flossing once a day minimizes the risk of cavities and protects your gums from infection.
It can be easy to forget to floss regularly, but the result could be increased visits to the dentist due to oral health problems. Flossing not only benefits your dental health but your general body wellness. Here are the five main reasons why flossing is essential to your gum health.
Flossing Gets Rid of Plaque
Plaque is a clear and sticky film that forms between your teeth and gums. Although plaque is colorless and hard to see, it affects your dental health. Your mouth is home to several bacteria, and when the bacteria combine with leftover particles from foods and drinks, they form a sticky film.
Since the bacteria omit acids that break down carbs, failure to floss your teeth allows the carbohydrates, acids, and bacteria to mix, creating plaque. As the plaque stays in your teeth, it eats away the enamel leading to cavities. Plaque also builds into tartar which forms along the gumline and causes gum diseases. Regular brushing and flossing removes the plaque, prevents the build-up of tartar, and helps keep your gums and teeth protected from disease.
Flossing Helps to Prevent Gum Disease
One of the most common forms of gum disease caused by the build-up of plaque and tartar is gingivitis. This is the early stage of gum disease. Gingivitis causes inflammation around the gums. When inflamed, the gums become sensitive and bleed easily when you floss or brush your teeth. If left untreated, gingivitis causes periodontitis. Periodontitis infection causes your gums to pull away from your teeth. As a result, your teeth will lose bone support. Periodontitis can spread infections through your body if left untreated.
By flossing regularly, you can remove plaque before it builds up into tartar and threatens your gum health. For your gums to get the most benefit, it’s important to floss using a proper technique, using the floss to tightly hug each tooth and gently clean along the gumline.
Flossing Prevents Bad Breath
Although brushing your teeth helps reduce bad breath, at times, bad breath cannot be eliminated only by brushing alone. Flossing helps remove food particles trapped between your teeth that can be missed during brushing. Flossing allows you to take a more targeted approach to cleaning your teeth, enabling you to remove bacteria that can hide along the gumline and cause persistent bad breath.
When Should You Floss?
Although you can floss your teeth any time of the day, doctors advise you to floss at least once and at night before going to bed. Do not substitute brushing your teeth with flossing. Instead, floss before brushing your teeth. This way, you will loosen the food particles and bacteria between your teeth before removing them with your toothbrush.
There are several types of floss, such as waxed and unwaxed thread, air flossers, water flossers, and super floss. Consider trying different types of floss to determine which one works best for you.