We all know brushing your teeth is important, but what about flossing? Many adults either don’t know they should be flossing or simply forget, but this little step plays a huge role in your oral hygiene routine. Here are just a few reasons flossing is important as well as how to do it properly.
What Are the Benefits of Flossing?
Flossing is important for many reasons. Your toothbrush alone can’t reach all of the areas of your mouth—it takes floss to reach into the tight crevices between your teeth and dislodge any food particles that might be stuck there. Flossing also scrapes away plaque, so it doesn’t have the chance to cause tooth decay, and the stimulation from the floss is healthy for your gums.
If you don’t floss, you leave yourself open to tooth decay, gum disease, and other serious oral health issues—not to mention, you’re leaving bacteria free to multiply in your mouth.
How Do You Floss Properly?
The key when flossing is to go in a C-shape, bringing the floss up and slightly under your gums to eliminate any plaque that might be hiding under there. After you floss each tooth, shift the floss so that you’re starting with a clean area for the next tooth – otherwise you risk spreading around the bacteria you’re trying to remove.
Your gums may bleed slightly at first as they adjust to your new flossing technique, but significant bleeding that doesn’t go away after a while can be a sign of gum disease. Contact your dentist if you suffer from bleeding gums when you floss.
While flossing is one extra step you have to remember, it can make a world of difference to your teeth. By flossing routinely, you can cut down on cavities, prevent gum disease, and keep your mouth healthy and happy for years to come.