One of the sure fire questions you’ll hear from your dentist or hygienist during your routine dental hygiene visit is: “Do you floss regularly?” For about 40% of adults, the answer will be yes. For most, the answer is no or never. What is keeping us from flossing?; time, lack thereof, or simply the task itself. Most children and adults polled say they do not know how to floss properly and therefore skip it altogether.
Why Flossing is Important
Flossing removes plaque and food particles trapped between the tight spaces and gaps between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. Plaque not removed by brushing and flossing over time will harden into tartar which, safely, must be removed by a dental professional.
How Often Should you Floss?
When done thoroughly and effectively, flossing once per day is sufficient. If you floss quickly and haphazardly many times a day you may be missing much of the bacteria and plaque hiding in those tight spaces.
Benefits of Flossing
While brushing cleans the front and back surfaces of teeth, it is necessary to floss between your teeth. Those who don’t floss are at a higher risk of plaque build up leading to tooth decay and gum disease. Left untreated, gum disease can be a risk factor for heart disease; individuals with diabetes may be more susceptible to this risk factor. Removing trapped food particles decreases your chance of bad breath, and gives your teeth a clean feel and look.
Dental Appliances and Flossing
Whether you have implants, dental bridges or braces don’t forget to floss! There are many dental aids available to help you maximise your flossing habits. If you are not sure how to use these devices please ask us for a demonstration at your next visit.
Proper technique is vital to an effective flossing session. Click here for a step by step instructional video.
Regular dental hygiene visits are vital to maintain a healthy mouth. Brush up on your flossing technique and at your next visit when asked if you floss regularly, you can say yes!
Dr. Kate Bazydlo, Winston Churchill Dental