As a dentist it is all too common to hear from patients about why they don’t floss. They say it is uncomfortable or they are afraid when they see their gums start to bleed. I’ll be the first to tell you bleeding gums aren’t always a bad sign and are common with flossing. The important thing is that you floss regularly so that you keep a clean mouth and prevent serious oral health complications that will result from not flossing regularly.
Often times the foods and drinks we consume are not the best for us. These foods and drinks can lead to a buildup of plaque in your mouth. Plaque, if left untreated, can eventually turn into tartar which will lead to health problems like gum disease.
Despite what you might think, plaque is not something you can solely get rid of by brushing your teeth or even using mouthwash. There are often hard to reach places all over your teeth that these things simply can’t clean by themselves. This is why you must floss at least once a day to be sure you hit every area of your mouth and ensure a clean mouth free of plaque.
Some general tips to make sure you floss regularly and properly.
Use a long piece of floss so you have enough to move freely and reach every surface of tooth
Leave a 1-2 inch space between your index fingers after wrapping your middle fingers in floss so you ensure a tight line that is sure to scrape away any residual plaque.
Use clean sections of floss as you move. I can not stress this enough as using a piece that you have already used may replace the food and germs you just cleaned off your teeth.
Floss may seem like a chore, but I promise you it will save you from so many problems later down the road. It’s also one of the best ways to maintain a perfect, healthy smile. And who doesn’t want that? Don’t forget periodic visits to the dentist are vital so be sure to schedule your dental check-up as soon as possible.