Dental flossing doesn’t just keep the teeth and gums healthy, it can also affect your overall health. At Allred Dental, our dentistry in San Marcos, CA, our professional dental team teaches our patients the benefits of flossing daily. At a comprehensive dental exam or routine dental cleaning, Dr. Jeffrey Allred can inform his patients how often to floss, how to floss correctly, and what exactly flossing does for your oral health. This helpful information encourages you to maintain an efficient oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing from home that keeps your teeth and gums looking and feeling their best.
When is the best time to floss your teeth?
There is not really a best time to floss your teeth. Pick a time that is convenient for you, so you never skip this important oral hygiene task. If you have children, they should also be flossing as soon as they have two teeth that touch. You should gently floss their teeth for them since they could damage their teeth without proper practice.
Benefits of flossing daily
Unhealthy gums can lead to an increased risk of tooth loss or the need for root canal therapy. While brushing your teeth at least twice a day is important, brushing alone cannot protect you from gum disease. For individuals who suffer from sensitive or bleeding gums, you may think that you don’t have to floss as often. However, when you don’t floss regularly, you allow plaque and tartar to develop, which can lead to gingivitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease that causes bleeding and tooth sensitivity. Thankfully, it is entirely reversible with a deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing, which is offered by Dr. Allred at Allred Dental. Flossing at least once daily helps keep your teeth and gums continuously healthy.
How to floss properly
To floss most efficiently, Dr. Allred suggests following this regimen:
1. If you’re using floss, break off about 24 inches (two feet) of floss. Hold the floss with the majority of it around your middle fingers. Leave just a few inches for your teeth. If you’re using a floss pick, skip this step.
2. Place the dental floss or the floss pick between the two teeth you will be cleaning. Glide it up and down, gently rubbing against the sides of each tooth. Never glide it into the gums as it can damage the tissue there.
3. Curve the floss or your floss pick at the base of the tooth to form a C shape. This will rub any material off the edges of your teeth and allows you to enter the space between both the gums and the tooth. Ultimately, this removes the most food particles and plaque.
4. Repeat these steps until you have cleaned your entire mouth.
What does flossing do for your health
More than half of Americans have periodontal disease. This inflammation of the gums occurs when bacteria below the gumline is left in the mouth. This can lead to receding gums or tooth loss. Gum disease is associated with many medical conditions, including Type II diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and rheumatoid arthritis. The connection between periodontal disease and your health is clear, which makes it important that you prioritize flossing your teeth daily.
Regular dental examinations and routine dental cleanings with Dr. Allred in San Marcos, CA are also important as they detect dental problems early on. While flossing removes debris that contains harmful bacteria that can lead to the onset of gum disease, flossing alone cannot stop gingivitis from progressing to more advanced stages of periodontal disease. Flossing also helps maintain fresh breath. Regular bad breath can signal a dental problem too.
Learn about the long-term benefits of flossing
At Allred Dental in San Marcos, CA, we are committed to promoting good oral hygiene. Dr. Jeffrey Allred provides comprehensive dental exams and dental cleanings to help our patients to maintain their oral hygiene for optimal oral health. During your visit, he can suggest tips on how to properly floss that will remove the most bacteria, plaque, and food particles from between the teeth and help to reduce the chances of developing periodontal disease. To schedule an appointment to learn about the long-term benefits of flossing, call our dental office today.