You know you’re supposed to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. That’s the standard recommendation from dentists.
You’re probably pretty good about brushing your teeth. But when did you last floss? The answer to that question is not so easy. According to the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, only about 30% of adults floss daily.
That’s not nearly enough people flossing every day. Flossing is a key part of keeping your mouth and teeth healthy, and it has been shown to prevent tooth loss and decay. While flossing isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to add to your daily routine, it could save you a lot of trouble down the road.
Here’s more about why flossing is so important from Dr. Joshua Whitford and the expert team at Silver Lake Dentistry in Raymore, Missouri.
How do dentists define good dental hygiene?
A good oral hygiene routine includes much more than just brushing your teeth. Dentists say you should also be flossing at least once a day, visiting your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings, and focusing on good nutrition that benefits your teeth.
When life gets busy, it’s easy to slack off, especially when it comes to flossing and making appointments for regular checkups, but the time you spend flossing is a bargain when you consider the consequences of dental problems later in life. Good dental hygiene is also an important component of proper speech, a healthy smile, and keeping bad breath to a minimum.
Flossing benefits your teeth and gums
You brush your teeth to remove plaque that has accumulated from the food you’ve eaten and to clear any debris that is left after chewing and swallowing. Toothbrushes do a great job cleaning the easy-to-reach surfaces in your mouth, but their bristles often can’t reach the tiny spaces between your teeth.
Not flossing puts you at higher risk for:
- Tooth decay
- Gingivitis (the early stage of gum disease)
- Gum disease
- Tartar buildup, which can eventually cause gum disease
If you don’t floss, plaque, a sticky biofilm made of bacteria, stays between your teeth, as does food debris, which is rife with bacteria. Some of these bacteria wear down your tooth enamel, plus they can also hurt your gums.
Flossing gets easier
Flossing brings results no matter how good you are when you first start. Your gums will be tender and may bleed the first few times you floss, but this goes away after a few days as you fall into a consistent routine.
You may also notice that your teeth look a little whiter and healthier after you begin flossing, plus you get better and faster at flossing the more you do it.
When you’re ready to schedule your next dental appointment, call or message call or message the Silver Lake Dentistry office today. We’ll be happy to give you a quick flossing lesson when you come in too!