As any good dentist will tell you, brushing is only part of your daily oral health routine. Regular flossing is just as important. Unfortunately, too many people skip their daily floss believing that a good brushing will take care of everything. But the reality is that regular flossing is important for a variety of reasons.
- It provides a better clean than brushing alone
Brushing twice a day is an easy way to look after your teeth and your overall oral health. But you could be doing more.
Flossing and then brushing is known to be more effective at removing bacteria from your mouth than just brushing. This is because even the most thorough tooth brushing can’t get to the bacteria between your teeth that forms plaque. But flossing can.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that you need to floss before brushing. This ensures that any bacteria dislodged by flossing is cleared away when you brush, rather than settling back down on the teeth again.
- To protect your gums
Good oral care is the key to keeping your gums healthy. Along with brushing your teeth regularly and using antibacterial mouthwash, you need to floss.
Flossing and other oral health measures help to remove food particles from your mouth. If left alone, these particles promote the growth of bacteria, which can attack your gums causing gingivitis. Watch out for the initial signs of gingivitis like inflamed or red gums, or even your gums bleeding when you brush or floss.
If you ignore these symptoms, your gingivitis can develop into periodontitis. You may then find your teeth shifting as your gums shrink. In extreme cases, your teeth may even feel loose.
Gingivitis and periodontitis can be extremely painful and impact your ability to eat, as well as enjoy your life. But you can avoid all this by remembering to floss every day.
- To prevent tartar build-up
Even if you regularly brush your teeth, if you’re not flossing as well you may be doing little to improve your oral health. This may be because there is tartar or calculus build-up on and around your teeth. Therefore, when you brush, you’re not actually brushing your teeth, but the tartar on top.
Tartar occurs when plaque is allowed to harden on your teeth, making it difficult to remove with brushing alone. Often, you’ll need to see your dentist to remove the tartar build-up. However, if you make a habit of flossing, you are more likely to remove plaque from your teeth before it can become tartar. This can make keeping your teeth clean easier too.
- To reduce risk of dental problems
A variety of dental problems like gingivitis, periodontitis and calculus build-up can all be directly linked to not flossing. Unfortunately, these problems rarely come alone. As a result, you can expect increasing problems with your oral health and health in general.
For instance, periodontitis can cause teeth to shift, making it harder to maintain a straight smile. Similarly, excessive plaque and tartar can cause bad breath and leave you feeling self-conscious.
Thankfully, there’s an easy way to avoid these problems: floss regularly.
- For fewer trips to the dentist
Regular trips to a dental clinic are necessary for good oral health. Getting a thorough professional clean can help keep your teeth in excellent condition. Similarly, you should also be visiting the clinic if you have any oral health problems, like sensitive teeth or sore gums.
However, maintaining good dental hygiene at home can limit how often you need to see your dentist to once or twice a year. As a result, you can expect to save money. Therefore, taking the few minutes a day to floss can mean big savings in the long term, which you can then use for more enjoyable things than a visit to a dental practice.
Flossing should be a key part of your daily oral hygiene routine. Doing so can mean you aren’t at risk for gum disease, minimise problems with your teeth and also save money.