As a Southampton dentist we’re constantly telling patients that it’s important to floss their teeth at least once a day. When it comes to flossing many people consider it an inconvenience and simply don’t bother, thinking that regular brushing is all they need do to care for their teeth.
The importance of flossing
No matter how well you brush your teeth there are always certain areas that can’t be reached by a toothbrush alone and this includes spaces between the teeth where particles of food and excess plaque can accumulate. Dental floss should be used to remove these particles from hard to reach areas as well as along the gum line where the base of the teeth meets the gums. If you fail to floss on a regular basis here’s what could happen:
- If food and plaque isn’t removed from the base of the teeth where they meet the gums then it can harden and turn into tartar which can result in gingivitis, the first sign of gum disease.
- Although a Southampton dentist can treat gingivitis with a thorough scraping and cleaning of the area, if it’s left untreated then the plaque can spread below the surface of the gum and turn into periodontitis. Termed as severe gum disease, aside from swollen bleeding gums periodontitis can cause bone and tooth loss.
- Lack of flossing also causes an excessive build up of bacteria in the mouth. However, it’s not just the teeth and gums that are affected by this. Research has shown that bacteria and gum disease have been contributing factors to heart disease, diabetes and even respiratory problems.
That’s why flossing is such an important part of your oral routine. So let’s take a look as 3 tips for maximising the effects of flossing.
Tips on flossing
- Always floss at night before you brush your teeth. This is more effective than flossing in the morning because it makes sure that food and bacteria aren’t left lingering in your mouth for the hours while you’re asleep.
- The best method of flossing is with a length of floss around 18 inches long. Wind each end around your fingers so the central area of floss is taut and then work methodically between each tooth taking it down to the gum line before bringing it back up. Try as well to hook the floss beneath the gum line.
- If you had a hard time reaching the back areas of your mouth or perhaps you’ve got arthritis, then you can buy devices which use water and air to remove plaque from the teeth, to make your task easier.
Now you know more about the importance on your oral and bodily health of flossing then there really is no excuse for not doing it. It only takes a couple of minutes of your time and look at the benefits! If you’re overdue a check-up or your teeth need a professional clean then why not make an appointment with Dr. Thomas Darling at Smilemakers. We’re a general and cosmetic dentist in Southampton committed to providing our customers with all aspects of dental care and restoration. Call us today on 02380 442626 or book online at www.smilemakers.co.uk.