Daily flossing doesn’t just keep your teeth and gums healthy, it also influences your overall health. At Parker West Dental Associates, in Plano, TX, Dr. Tim Nguyen teaches his patients the proper way to care for their teeth at home. There’s evidence that periodontal disease increases one’s risk of stroke, heart disease, tooth decay, and infections. This makes an oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing from home increasingly important.
Why is flossing important?
While periodontal disease isn’t the sole reason for the death of cells and tissues in the pulp chamber, unhealthy gums can increase your risk of tooth loss or the need for root canal therapy. While brushing at least twice a day is important, brushing alone can’t protect you from gum disease. For those who suffer from sensitive or bleeding gums, you may think you should avoid flossing. However, doing so will allow plaque and tartar to accumulate, which can lead to gingivitis. Ultimately, no matter your age, flossing will benefit your oral health. When asking, “why is flossing important?” consider a lower risk of developing gum disease as one main reason.
When is the best time to floss your teeth?
The most important thing about flossing is that you actually do it. Pick a time that is most convenient for you, so you won’t skip it. Also, if you have kids, they need to floss too. Start flossing as soon as your child has two teeth that touch. Be gentle; you could damage the tissue between the teeth.
Best ways to floss teeth
In order to floss the most efficiently, Dr. Nguyen suggests the following method:
Break off about 24 inches of floss or use a floss pick. Hold the floss with most of it around both of your middle fingers. Leave only one to two inches for your teeth.
Hold the floss tight with your thumbs or index fingers. Place the dental floss or the floss pick in between two teeth. Gently glide it up and down, rubbing against the sides of each tooth. Don’t glide it into the gums.
Curve the floss or floss pick at the base of the tooth to form a C shape. This allows it to enter the space between the gums and the tooth.
Repeat the steps for your entire mouth.
Dr. Nguyen suggests the following process for his patients with braces in Plano, TX:
Break off 24 inches of waxed dental floss.
Thread the floss between your teeth and the main wire. Twist any loose ends of the floss around your index fingers.
Gently press the floss between two teeth. Move the floss up and down along the sides of the teeth.
When working on top teeth, make an upside-down U with the floss that allows you to go up the side of one tooth until you get to the gumline. Next, glide the floss down the side of the opposite tooth.
Remove the floss and unthread it from the wire.
Move on to the next two teeth until all of the teeth are done.
How flossing affects your health
Nearly half of Americans have gum disease. This inflammatory disease shows up when bacteria in plaque below the gumline causes irritation. When it’s left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss and receding gums. Gum disease is directly associated with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and other health conditions. The connection between gum disease and your health is clear.
The bacteria left in your mouth will end up in your bloodstream, which can lead to more serious health problems. This makes it important to not only have good at-home oral hygiene in place with regular flossing but also to have regular dental examinations and routine dental cleanings. Flossing removes debris that contains harmful bacteria that leads to gum disease.
Learn how good oral hygiene and flossing influence your health
At Parker West Dental Associates, Dr. Tim Nguyen teaches his patients in Plano, TX how to effectively care for their teeth at home. Good oral hygiene is more than just brushing, it’s also flossing and doing so correctly. Flossing removes plaque, bacteria, and food particles from between the teeth. It also reduces the chance of developing cavities and gum diseases. To schedule a comprehensive examination with Dr. Nguyen, call our professional team today.