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Posted on: May 14, 2021
Why Flossing Is a Must, Not a Maybe
With a busy schedule and many demands on your time, it may be tempting to neglect flossing your teeth from time to time. However, that would be a very bad idea! All dentists strongly recommend flossing every day to remove plaque and bacteria from between your teeth. If you want to keep your teeth and gums healthy and protected, flossing is a must! There is no room for negotiating with flossing as it’s a vital part of a proper dental health routine.
Scheduling regular teeth cleaning appointments and brushing and flossing regularly are among the most important things you can do to protect your natural teeth and to keep your smile brilliant for many years to come. To learn more about the proper technique for flossing and why kids need to floss too, keep reading. We’re big proponents of flossing and we want you to be as well!
Why Flossing Is Important
Brushing removes most of the sugars and acids that are formed when you eat and drink, however, it can’t quite reach everywhere and plaque is very sticky. Plaque is a sticky transparent film that can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and cavities. If left between teeth, plaque can attack the enamel that covers the teeth and create cavities, which can damage the integrity of your teeth. It also starts to irritate the gums, causing swollen, red gums that may bleed when brushed. Flossing at least once per day removes plaque and food debris that can cause serious issues with your teeth and gums. A good, regular dental hygiene routine is directly responsible for healthy teeth and gums. It can also help you to prevent some of the most serious problems associated with poor dental hygiene for yourself and your family.
If you or any of your family members fail to brush or floss properly, you could be vulnerable to a number of serious health complications, not just dental complications. Some of the most serious problems that arise from not taking care of your teeth can include the following:
- Perhaps the most serious consequence of poor dental hygiene is the development of gum disease. This condition begins as gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums that occurs when plaque sits on the gum line. If left untreated, it can cause the loss of your natural teeth and the deterioration of the bone in your jaw. This can lead to long-term problems that can affect your ability to receive dental implants and the overall health of your mouth.
- Flossing removes particles and food debris that would otherwise decay and generate plaque and decay in teeth and mouth. Without regular flossing and brushing, tooth decay and cavities can create real issues for your dental health.
- Failing to floss and brush can lead to discoloration of your teeth and to persistent bad breath. This can make your teeth less attractive and can reduce your self-confidence in dealing with others.
- Perhaps even more scary, inflammation from gum disease is linked to the development of other systemic disease such as cardiovascular diseases, pneumonia, diabetes, and obesity, among others.
Regular teeth cleanings from a dental professional and a proper routine of brushing and flossing can help to prevent these serious consequences. If you need more guidance on how to care for your teeth, contact your dentist. A dental professional is always more than happy to help you understand the best way to keep your mouth healthy.
Understanding Flossing for Children
Dental authorities have determined that flossing should begin as soon as your baby’s first two teeth are present next to each other. Flossing for baby teeth is as important as flossing for permanent teeth because the plaque and bacteria that affect adults can be just as dangerous to children. Flossing your child’s teeth every day can also prevent cavities in baby teeth. Finding the best ways to encourage your children to take good care of their teeth will help manage their dental care. The goal is always to promote the best health for your child’s teeth and gums throughout their lives.
Helping Your Kids Floss and Brush Properly
There are a number of ways in which you can promote the best dental hygiene habits in your children. Finding ways to motivate them to perform these basic dental care tasks can pay off in fewer emergency dental bills and improved dental health. You know your child best and can create customized rewards that will appeal to them when they complete their dental health care routine. If you are looking for ideas, the strategies below have shown real results for many parents looking for ways to encourage their children to brush and floss every day:
- Make a custom calendar with room for stickers or gold stars that can be applied every time your child successfully completes a day’s worth of dental hygiene habits.
- Allow your child to receive a small reward or help them save up for a bigger toy by offering a small reward every week in which he or she brushes and flosses properly.
- Praise your child and offer positive reinforcement. It’s important that your child understands when they are doing something right. Receiving praise is one way to encourage them to keep flossing.
- Buy kid-specific flossing tools. Bright colors and fun flavors go a long way in making flossing exciting for children. The tools will also fit their mouths appropriately.
- Experts also recommend modeling good flossing and brushing behavior for your children. If you make dental care a priority, your children are more likely to follow your example to build a foundation for the best dental health in the future.
How to Floss Properly
The American Dental Hygienists Association recommends that you start the flossing process by measuring out about 18 inches of floss and wrapping it around your index fingers and your thumbs. You can then use your index finger to guide the floss precisely where it needs to go. Use a gliding motion to move the floss up and down and between teeth, making sure you reach the gumline. Using a fresh piece of floss for every transit between teeth is essential to prevent bacteria from spreading around your teeth and creating the right conditions for gum disease.
The Right Dental Services in Arlington
If you have any questions about flossing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our dental professionals. Give us a call today to schedule your first appointment with our dedicated dental team.