Flossing: It Really is That Important
Most people do brush their teeth twice a day and use mouthwash, but many skip flossing. The reasons why people fail to floss are unclear. It may be because it seems a little more time-consuming than brushing. It may be because people just don’t think it is an essential aspect of oral care and that brushing and swishing mouthwash are sufficient. Or it may be because flossing is uncomfortable or a little painful for some people. (Incidentally, if it is uncomfortable or painful, that is likely an indication that it isn’t being done enough.)
But whatever the reason behind the neglect is, it is something that needs to be considered part of the regular routine and incorporated into daily care.
- One of the most uncomfortable parts of a dental cleaning is the scraping of tartar. If you floss daily, you catch it while it is still just soft, sticky plaque, before it hardens into that tartar that requires a pick.
- It reaches places that a toothbrush and mouthwash alone can’t, like the small spaces between teeth and at the base of teeth where they are more narrow. Food, bacteria, and other yucky things can get trapped there and cause problems beyond just tartar or gingivitis/gum disease. It doesn’t stop with your mouth; it can also increase risk for overall health problems, like diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory problems.
- It is much cheaper to do preventive maintenance than it is to treat a major problem down the line. Dental floss is a very inexpensive product (and if you go to the dentist, you can often get some for free), and it is certainly much cheaper than treating gingivitis, periodontal disease, or one of the systemic health problems mentioned above.
Think of flossing as being the accent brush while a toothbrush is like the paint roller; floss gets the small spaces while toothbrushes handle the big spots. There are simply places in your mouth that a toothbrush can’t go, and floss is the solution to reaching those places.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment contact Dr. Dawn Gayken today!