For many Johns Creek dental patients, flossing seems like just one more tedious task in the self-care department. And it is an easily skipped task, especially at the end of the day when you’re exhausted and can barely brush your teeth before falling into bed (kids are not the only people who skip the dental floss regularly). A tooth brush, however, can never substitute for the job of dental floss. In fact, flossing can be your ticket to superb oral health, now and in the future.
The Truth About Flossing Your Teeth
Flossing is satisfying, and we’re not just saying that because we’re in the business of oral health. Popcorn, steak, corn on the cob, broccoli – we have all eaten foods that get stuck between our teeth and irritate our gums. Flossing makes that discomfort go away, plus:
- You’re not fooling anyone. Your Suwanee dentist and hygienist know who flosses and who doesn’t. Gums that are used to flossing react positively to teeth being flossed at your regular dental check-up. Teeth that do not come into regular contact with dental floss have an accumulation of plaque between the teeth and along the gum line. There may even be a few cavities that need to be addressed.
- Your mouth works hard every day. Flossing is one way of saying thanks to your teeth and gums for putting in the work of biting and gnawing up your food so you can digest it properly.
- Brushing is not enough. No matter how thoroughly you brush your teeth or how many times a day, the job is not complete if flossing doesn’t accompany the brushing. Toothbrushes simply cannot get under the gum line and reach the crevices that dental floss can. Trying to make up for lost flossing or brushing time with incredibly vigorous brushing is also a bad idea. This habit will only lead to gum recession and it will not get your teeth any cleaner than gentle brushing does.
- You’ll get rid of bad breath. Some people may seem more prone to bad breath than others. Sure, onions on your burger can do quite a number on your breath, but the odor goes away after a little while or after brushing. Constant bad breath no matter what you eat means there is something not right with your oral health, and neglecting to floss could be the culprit.
Prevent Oral Health Problems with Flossing
If you don’t floss your teeth, you are more susceptible to tooth decay and, eventually, gum disease. Flossing is important to your entire oral health, not just your teeth. Your gums depend on your flossing practices to minimize the formation of bacterial colonies along the gum line, reduce gum inflammation or puffiness, and stimulate the soft tissues in your mouth. After all, your gums are responsible for supporting your teeth and for covering the base and root of each tooth to prevent them from gathering debris or bacteria, or from developing sensitivity.
If you are simply a patient who is more susceptible to developing cavities and other oral health problems, even if you are a frequent flosser, additional preventive methods may be necessary. For example, dental sealants can protect hard-to-reach back teeth from developing cavities by putting a protective coating over the chewing surface of the molars.
Dr. Mitul Patel and his Duluth-area family dentistry team are prepared and happy to help you perfect your tooth-flossing technique. Don’t be embarrassed if you’ve been lax on the flossing up to now. It’s never too late to start taking care of your teeth and gums. Contact our office to develop a good relationship with dental floss, and a dentist who cares.