Everything You Need To Know About Flossing
Do you floss your teeth daily? When asked this question by their Peoria dentist, most patients will answer “yes.” Often, they are being less than truthful. Why do people dislike flossing so much that it can drive otherwise truthful people to lie to their Peoria dentist about it during their dental exam? People have endless excuses why they don’t floss, so let’s examine a few.
Isn’t Brushing Enough?
Many people feel that brushing alone is sufficient. WRONG! Your saliva helps to remove the bacteria that clings to the front and back of your teeth, but flossing is the only way to remove bacteria from between your teeth. If bacteria is left to thrive in between teeth it will harden into plaque and begin the process of tooth decay. Plaque around the gum line is the cause of gum disease, and gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss.
I’m Too Tired to Floss before Bed
After a long, hard day many people just want to fall into bed without even brushing, let alone flossing. Nothing beats flossing and brushing before bed for a healthy mouth, but if you feel you have to choose between flossing and brushing, flossing is probably more important, since it helps prevent gum disease. Gum disease is more than just an oral problem, it is believed to contribute to numerous health issues. Gum disease allows bacteria entry into your bloodstream, and has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, pregnancy complications and low birth weight babies.
Yes, going to bed with a clean mouth is ideal, but if you can’t bring yourself to floss before going to sleep, flossing in the morning is certainly better than not flossing at all. It takes the bacteria in your mouth approximately 24 hours to harden into and tartar. So by flossing at least once every twenty-four hours you can prevent much of this build up.
Try thinking outside the box. Flossing doesn’t have to be performed at the bathroom sink. Keep some floss next to your TV remote and floss while watching TV before bed. Put some flossers in your car, too.
It’s Painful and Makes My Gums BleedThat means you need to floss more! Healthy gums are not painful and don’t bleed easily. The more you floss the less discomfort and bleeding you will experience. If it’s been a while since your last dental exam, you may need to begin by having the tartar professionally removed by your Peoria dentist. Once it has hardened you won’t be able to remove it on your own. After a professional cleaning, flossing will help prevent tartar from reforming.
Peoria dentists recommend that you floss twice daily. To floss properly, begin by purchasing the correct floss for your dental needs. Break off approximately 18 inches of floss, wrap most of it around your index or middle finger on one hand and the rest of that around the finger on the opposite hand, leaving enough floss in between your fingers to wiggle it in between your teeth. When the floss reaches the gum line in between your teeth hold it firmly against one tooth and move it gently up and down. Do the same thing to the other tooth, then wiggle it in between the next two teeth and repeat the process, using fresh areas of the floss as you go. There are also flossing devices that you can thread your floss through, or that come with floss already attached. If you have difficulties maneuvering dental floss within your mouth one of these devices may be helpful.
There are numerous types of electric water flossers on the market today, but standard dental floss is more effective at scraping away plaque. A water device can be used after flossing to irrigate between the teeth and soothe irritated gums.
If you are due for a dental exam and cleaning call Aesthetic Dentistry of Arrowhead to schedule an appointment. Once your teeth have been professionally cleaned it will be easy to maintain good oral health between visits. Sometimes we see patients that have been left with dark stains in the crevices between teeth due to improper flossing. If professional cleaning alone can’t remove the stains a Peoria cosmetic procedure called teeth bleaching can restore a dazzling smile.