For some reason, people have designated flossing as an optional exercise when it comes to dental care, preferring only to brush because that is what they have been taught growing up. Emphasis was more on brushing teeth than flossing by parents, because flossing was seen as an afterthought. Even toothpaste companies got in on the action by promoting the importance of brushing over flossing.
Most dental professionals consider flossing to be more important than brushing. The American Dental Association recommends flossing teeth once a day to have optimal oral health. Flossing everyday prevents both tooth loss and gum disease, because it helps to get rid of the plaque, which is the bacterial film that forms between the teeth and along gum lines.
Some people claim they just do not have the time to floss, but experts in dental care say that the most important thing about flossing is just doing it. It does not matter when one does it. If you can make just a few minutes to floss, then it is advisable to do so. For those who work during the day and are tired by nighttime, it is advisable to do it in the morning when they are not likely to use that excuse or forget about it.
Making the activity a part of a person’s daily routine increases their chances of keeping their teeth in their later years, and not having to resort to dentures. Periodontal disease is not the main cause of tooth decay, but continuously unhealthy gums may increase a person’s chances of losing their teeth or having to go in for root canals and other invasive procedures. Flossing is key to optimal dental care at all ages. Even those who brush daily should not feel completely protected because both gum disease and tooth loss are still possible.
The people who suffer from sensitive or bleeding gums may be tempted to not floss because it could be painful or make their conditions worse. As a matter of fact, flossing improves gum health even if it would not seem so; it does provide a preventive measure. Bleeding gums are brought about by the sores that arise from gum disease and infections from the plaque. As such, lack of flossing only creates a vicious cycle. The thing to note for those people who find flossing strenuous, is the activity should not be painful.
Discomfort may be there for beginners, but that is natural. When considering the activity of daily brushing with subsequent flossing, the discomfort should decrease within a week. After all, dental care should be a priority and perseverance for the little discomfort is substantially better than the pain felt at the hands of tooth decay or a cavity.
For those not familiar with this aspect of dental care, floss is available in different packages. There is fine, non-waxed floss, and this can be used between teeth that are close together. There is medium sized floss and dental tape, or wide waxed floss. If one has an advanced periodontal condition or large spaces between teeth, then it is advisable to try using a dental ribbon. It is floss with yarn attached. It has the advantage of covering and polishing a large area with ease. It also should only be utilized when there is a wide space between the teeth.
There are other options for people who really do not prefer flossing, such as interdental cleaners, wooden plaque removers and dental picks. All of these are engineered to remove plaque, though dental floss is the most common material used. It does not matter which material you prefer; what matters the most is that you are flossing.
If you need more information about flossing and preventing gum disease, please call us today, at 443-808-1958!