Thursday, March 14, 2013

Why You Should Always Floss

If you ask an American if they regularly brush their teeth, odds are they will say "yes." Americans spend $2 billion a year on toothbrushes and toothpaste (among other dental supplies), with 94% saying they brush nightly and 84% saying they brush first thing in the morning. However, if you asked all Americans if they are doing everything in their power to maintain healthy dental hygiene; your results wouldn't be as strong.

Less than half of Americans say that they floss daily. Even worse, 10% admit to NEVER flossing. When around 70% of Americans can count on having some type of periodontal disease, flossing has never been so essential. This brief outline is intended to show why dentists claim that flossing is such an important part of oral health. This article provides a few easy practices to improve your flossing when you do.

Why Floss?

Every time you eat, breath, or pretty much open your mouth, you're exposing your teeth to bacteria and microorganisms that get caught in between teeth. This is unavoidable, what will matter is how you take care of it. Without brushing and flossing, the bacteria build up and forms mini bacterial colonies (gross, right?), the yellowish coating substance called plaque.

Besides the fact that plaque is literally caked layers of bacteria, plaque is quite bad for oral health. Plaque is unsightly and will add a yellow stain to your teeth, as opposed to the clean white of fresh enamel. As if that isn't enough, plaque gets in between teeth and slowly eats away at soft gum tissue causing periodontal disease and further gum damage that will result in root canals and even more extreme methods of decay fighting from your dentist. Flossing is the best line of defense to scrape away plaque as it builds between teeth and to protect gums by removing bacteria at the base of teeth (their most vulnerable point).


It's been said that flossing is even more important than brushing; but, why then would people avoid it? Most people avoid flossing because of pain and bleeding. While the bleeding may be inescapable for the first few instances, this is simply no excuse to avoid flossing. The damage that is being done by refusing to floss is far more detrimental, and if flossing is done correctly it is a completely painless experience.

Simply buy a bundle of dental floss from any grocery store. If you're worried about the floss hurting your teeth, try to find a brand that is infused with satin, according to dentists. You'll barely feel it and you'll get the job done just as well. Get about 18 inches worth of filament, and wind it around your fingers so that you can pinch the twine with index finger and thumb. Gently slide the twine in between your teeth, and hold the floss against the tooth in question. Slide the filament back and forth, following the contours of the tooth and covering its entire length. Do this for every tooth, particularly the back molars. It does not matter if you floss or brush first, only that it gets done.

Flossing will strengthen your smile and make your teeth strong and clean. Cut down on unsightly plaque and take the first step in periodontal disease defense by beginning a daily flossing regimen, today.

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