Importance of Flossing
Taking care of your teeth is a part of taking care of your body. After all, they say a smile is the first thing we notice when we see someone. Part of having a nice smile is having nice teeth. And nice teeth aren’t just aesthetically pleasing; they’re healthy.
Healthy teeth require proper maintenance and hygiene practices, including frequent brushing and flossing. While people may not think too much about these everyday routines aside from just knowing they do them out of habit, they’re incredibly important, not just for your oral health but for your overall health as well.
Our mouths are the gateway to the health of the rest of our bodies. Because our mouths are one of the first places where bacteria can enter our bodies, if we are not maintaining our oral health, our mouths can become a breeding ground for bacteria as well as plaque and tartar. This can cause oral infections, including tooth decay and periodontitis (severe inflammation of the gums).
While the effects of oral health are still being studied, there is evidence to suggest that poor oral health can cause health repercussions elsewhere in the body. After all, the effects of bacteria in your mouth don’t just end at your teeth. Bacteria could cause gastrointestinal issues as well. Likewise, oral issues can be a sign of problems occurring elsewhere in your body. In sum, oral health and the health of the body are linked.
While both brushing and flossing are important to maintaining oral health, they’re not mutually exclusive. Flossing does a job that brushing cannot do. Flossing helps remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar that can get trapped between your teeth and gums. Removing these bacteria-causing particles keeps your teeth and gums healthy.
Types of Floss
You may not put too much thought into your floss options when you’re buying dental floss, but there are several different types available. Some are even electric. Below are some of the types that you may want to try when you next stock up on floss:
- Unwaxed and waxed floss – These types of floss are made out of nylon. The main difference between the two is in their strength. Unwaxed floss is thinner, so it’s easier to glide it between your teeth, but because it’s thin, it also shreds easier. Waxed floss has a wax coating on it that makes it more durable but also potentially more difficult to fit between your teeth.
- Unwaxed and waxed dental tape – These types of floss are thicker and flatter than normal floss. It may be more comfortable to use in spots where your teeth have gaps in them.
- Super floss – This type of floss is sturdier than dental tape and normal floss, so it’s best used when cleaning braces and dental bridges.
There are also flossers. These are plastic handles that come with a short strip of floss held together within the handle. They may be easier to manage than having to break off a piece of loose floss and wrap it around your fingers. Flossers can make it more difficult to floss your back teeth, however.
Electric water flossers, or oral irrigators, have become more popular as a more convenient tool to floss. It is an electric tool that shoots a small stream of water in between your teeth and onto your gums to wash away the plaque and tartar.
Five Tips to Perfecting Your Flossing
Believe it or not, there is a right way to floss your teeth. It’s more than simply rubbing a string back and forth between your teeth. Using these five tips the next time you’re doing your oral hygiene routine will help you ensure you’re flossing correctly:
- If you’re using loose floss, you want to make sure that you’re holding it taut between your fingers. If you’re using dental flossers, still be sure that the floss is taut and that you’re holding the flosser handle tight.
- You want to glide the floss between each of your teeth, being sure to reach the base of the gums where food and plaque can get trapped. If using a flosser, be sure to angle the handle so that you can easily glide the floss up and around each of your teeth and up into your gums.
- As you reach your gum line, curve the floss so it glides in between your gum and your teeth. Be gentle here since our gums can be sensitive.
- Rub the floss up and down between each of your teeth, being sure to rub the sides of your teeth.
- Always use new floss each time you floss.
Call Passes Dental Care for Healthy Teeth
To ensure that you’re keeping your teeth and gums healthy at home, be sure to follow up with quality professional dental care. At Passes Dental Care, we provide world-class comprehensive dental care for all of our patients and will keep you in good oral health. Call us today at 516-858-5921 to schedule your consultation.