Monday, July 15, 2013

Why Flossing Is Even More Important Than You Thought

The Long Term Benefits of Regular Flossing

Regular dental flossing can be the best way to keep clean those hard to get at spaces between your teeth. Many people do not realize that dental flossing is as important as brushing your teeth. The bristles from your tooth brush simply cannot reach those very small gaps where small food particles tend to accumulate.

But a more important factor about flossing is that flossing is more about removing plaque than it is about removing food particles. There are complex bacterial ecosystems that form on tooth surfaces. Plaque is what causes tooth decay, inflamed gums (gingivitis), periodontal disease, and even tooth loss. Flossing is the only effective way to remove plaque between teeth.

Oral irrigators have become quite popular in recent years and many general public consumers consider them to be a sufficient replacement for flossing. They are however not as effective as regular flossing, once again due to their ineffectiveness for removing plaque buildup on your teeth. Oral irrigators have almost no affect on plaque control.

How to Use Dental Floss to Acquire the Long Term Benefits of Regular Flossing

Make no bones about it; flossing is probably one of the more labor intensive personal hygiene activities an individual can perform for themselves. A 2008 survey found that only 49% of Americans floss daily and 10% never floss. That's most unfortunate, dentists say, because flossing is even more important than brushing when it comes to prevention of periodontal (gum) disease and tooth loss.
Effective flossing will take up to 3 minutes of intensive efforts. There are times when you may see a tinge of blood especially if you haven't flossed for a while. This could be due to your gums being slightly inflamed and may be caused by plaque buildup. This may require you to floss a little more to ensure you completely remove the bacteria.

Traditional dental floss comes in rolls packaged for easy pulling and cutting of strips about 6 inches long. Dental floss is generally nylon string covered in some type of wax coating. There are however new products on the market making flossing easier than ever before. These floss products include disposable flossing picks with precut string length and a handle fashioned like a toothpick for easy grasping.

Always take the time to run the floss between the teeth and over the gums.

It Is Worth It

Admitting that it takes a little special effort to make flossing a part of your daily routine, the benefits for those who make the effort are worth it. The long term benefits are having strong teeth and gums, avoiding bad breath, alleviating cavities, and preventing tarter buildup. Aside from the purely health benefits of regular flossing, you will also save you a great deal of time and money from potential dentist office visits. But even more than that in recent years American Dental Association (ADA) studies have generated reports indicating that regular long-term flossing may also help avoid the risks of stroke and heart diseases. All that for just a few more minutes per day.

For more detailed information about the advantages of long-term dental care go to or
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