Why flossing is important? - professional dental info about flossing

Why Flossing Should Be a Part of Your Daily Dental Care Routine

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The importance of dental flossing for oral health cannot be overstated. Regular brushing is often not enough to maintain optimal oral hygiene; flossing plays a vital role that goes beyond what a toothbrush can accomplish.

Flossing is a powerful tool in the fight against plaque, a sticky substance that builds up on and between your teeth. Left unchecked, plaque can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, two common but preventable oral health issues. By getting into the spaces between your teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, floss effectively removes food particles and bacteria, reducing the risk of plaque build-up and cavities.

Flossing is critical for gum health. It helps prevent periodontal diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis, conditions caused by inflammation and infection of the gums. Regular flossing can keep your gums healthy, leading to better overall oral health.

In addition to these health benefits, flossing can also contribute to fresher breath by removing food particles and bacteria that can cause bad odors.

While flossing may seem like a small addition to your daily routine, its impact on your oral health is significant. By committing just a few minutes each day to floss, you can help ensure a healthier mouth and a brighter smile.

What is the correct way to floss?

Flossing properly is crucial to maximize the benefits for your oral health. Here are the steps to follow to ensure you’re flossing effectively:

  1. Cut the Right Length: Start by cutting a piece of floss about 18 inches long. This length gives you enough to work with while you move from tooth to tooth.
  2. Wrap the Floss: Wrap most of the floss around both of your middle fingers. You should only have an inch or two of floss to work with at a time.
  3. Slide the Floss: Gently slide the floss between your teeth. Be careful not to snap the floss down onto your gums, which can cause irritation or bleeding.
  4. C-Shaped Motion: Curve the floss into a “C” shape around the base of each tooth, making sure to go beneath the gum line. This motion will help remove plaque from the side of each tooth and under the gum line.
  5. Move Up and Down: Gently move the floss up and down, using a clean section of floss as you move from tooth to tooth.
  6. Don’t Forget the Back: Many people forget to floss the back side of their last molar. Even though it doesn’t have a neighboring tooth, plaque and food particles can still accumulate there.
  7. Dispose of the Floss: Once you’ve flossed all your teeth, throw away the used piece of floss. It’s not sanitary or effective to reuse it.


Why flossing matters?

While brushing your teeth is an essential part of daily oral care, combining it with flossing significantly enhances the effectiveness of your routine. At Southampton Aesthetic Dentistry in Southampton, PA, we highly recommend incorporating both these practices for optimal oral health.

Brushing your teeth helps clean the surface of your teeth and gums, but it can’t reach certain areas, particularly in between your teeth. This is where flossing comes in. Flossing is designed to clean in between the teeth areas that a toothbrush can’t reach, helping to remove food particles and prevent tartar formation.

Tartar, also known as dental calculus, is hardened plaque that has been left on the teeth for some time. While brushing can help remove plaque, it can’t get rid of tartar. This is where flossing and professional dental cleanings play a vital role. By using dental floss regularly, you can remove food parts and plaque from between your teeth and under your gum line, where tartar is likely to form.

The combined practice of flossing and brushing helps maintain a cleaner mouth, reducing the chances of gum disease and cavities. By taking just a few extra minutes each day to floss, you can significantly boost your oral hygiene and safeguard your smile. Remember, for the most comprehensive care, regular dental check-ups at Southampton Aesthetic Dentistry are essential in addition to your at-home oral care routine.

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