It’s the most common question you’re likely to hear when you visit your dentist for your cleaning and checkup, ‘Do you floss regularly?’ For many, the answer is no.
In fact, only 5 percent of the Australian population regularly floss, prioritising brushing twice a day instead. Yet, both practices are recommended with equal importance by the Australian Dental Association.
If you solely rely on brushing to clean your teeth, you’re actually missing a large portion of the surface area of your teeth.
Flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth and is an essential component of good dental health.
Top reasons to floss everyday
As well as keeping your teeth clean, flossing also has many other surprising benefits.
Prevent the need for expensive treatment options
That thin piece of string might be the thing that stands between you and crowns, root canals and fillings. Flossing is that far more preferable and cheaper option than the ongoing costs of regular dental work to clean up the mess plaque has made of your teeth.
Keep you natural teeth healthy
When food is allowed to build up between teeth for a long time, it causes decay and a number of other infections. These aren’t only painful and expensive to treat but can also lead to the loss of teeth. Flossing for a few minutes each day can prevent your need for tooth extraction, implants or dentures.
Keep your gums from bleeding
Just like working on specific muscle groups at the gym, the more you do it the better accustomed you body gets. It is the same with flossing. In fact, flossing more prevents gums bleeding because it removes the bacteria that your body is trying to fight off. So thought it might seem counter-intuitive, flossing actually teaches your gums to stop bleeding.
Prevent Bad Breath
Bad breath can be embarrassing but did you know the primary cause is the build-up of bacteria in the mouth? Flossing after each meal and brushing twice a day is en effective way to keep bad breath at bay.
Boost general body health
There is a lot of medical research that links oral health with our overall body health. In fact, those with poor oral hygiene can open themselves up to a variety of illnesses that can even lead to stroke and heart attack.
Proper flossing technique
There are five steps to correctly flossing your teeth.
Take around 30 cms of floss and wind the majority of it around one of your middle fingers. Wrap the rest of the floss around the same finger on the opposite hand. As the floss becomes dirty, this finger will take on the used floss.
Be sure to pull the floss tightly between your forefingers and thumbs.
Move the floss between the teeth gently, careful to only slide it against the teeth, never slicing into the gums.
When you reach the gum line, trace a C shape against one tooth to the other, sliding into the space between one tooth and the other.
Repeat the above method on all of your teeth. Be sure to remember the back side of your teeth as well.
Always throw the floss away after use, using new floss each time.
For maximum effectiveness, and to keep your teeth healthy, flossing should be done once per day, and brushing twice. If you need more information or a professional clean, contact Maven Dental Yokine today!