People have all kinds of excuses for not flossing – they do not like to put their fingers inside their mouth, they do not like the feeling of the floss around their fingers, they do not like the “white stuff” that comes off on their fingers, their gums bleed, or it hurts. While these excuses may be popular, they do not negate the fact that every person should be flossing because flossing is the most important thing you can do for your oral health.
If you are shocked to learn that flossing is more important than brushing your teeth it is because you do not understand what dental floss is designed to do. Dental floss is the only thing that is designed specifically to clean the tight spaces between your teeth. A toothbrush is designed to clean the tops and outer surfaces of the teeth, but your saliva and tongue can actually take care of that! Nothing can take the place of floss.
Dental floss removes plaque from between the teeth and at the bottom of the gums. Plaque is the white substance that grows on the teeth and causes them to feel as though they are covered in a “fuzzy layer.” This layer is composed of millions of tiny bacteria that form naturally in the mouth to break down left over food particles and sugars after eating. This bacteria-laden plaque can wreak havoc on the mouth when it is not removed on a regular basis because it will begin attacking the gums and tooth enamel once it has taken care of the food particles that were left behind.
As with all bacteria, they cause infection. If your gums are tender, swollen, and/or bleed easily it is because they are responding to excess bacteria in your mouth. Healthy gums do not bleed because there is not enough blood supply in them for them to bleed! Those who choose not to floss have an excessive amount of bacteria in their mouth, causing their mouths to be much more tender during a dental cleaning and much more susceptible to dental health issues.
At Pacific Sky Dental, we care about you as our patient. We understand the benefits of a good oral health care routine – which includes flossing. Ask us how we can help you master this habit.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Raymond Jone, Pacific Sky Dental
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