The 4 Top Benefits of Flossing & How to Do It
Good oral health starts at home by maintaining effective dental hygiene habits.
Brushing and flossing are both compulsories. However, flossing is commonly incorrectly regarded as an optional addition to teeth brushing.
As your family dentist in Canley Heights, we’re here to help you maintain optimal dental health. And we know that a major contributor to this is daily flossing.
In this article, we share with you 4 of the best benefits of flossing and teach you how to do it like a pro.
Top 4 Benefits of Flossing
The Australian Health Policy Collaboration data revealed some alarming statistics. Up to 90% of Australian adults have some form of tooth decay present.
Further to this, only 50% of Australian adults brush their teeth twice daily as little as 5% floss.
Flossing is essential. The benefits speak for themselves.
#1. General Preventative Oral Care
We’re all familiar with the saying, “prevention is better than cure”.
Flossing plays a huge role in preventative dental care, which can help you avoid painful and costly dental conditions down the track. Our mouths are a germ and bacteria hotspot.
Regardless of how often you brush your teeth, those hard to reach places in between your teeth will trap bacteria and microorganisms.
Flossing is the ideal tool for accessing all areas, helping you remove debris that would otherwise build up and turn into plaque.
Plaque is the yellow sticky film that forms on your teeth. It is responsible for both damaging and staining your teeth over time.
#2. Reduced Tartar Build-Up
Plaque forms on your teeth very quickly and if left to its own devices, it can accumulate in no time. When this build-up of plaque sits on your teeth for too long, it hardens and turns into tartar.
Tartar is particularly difficult to remove. In fact, it can only be removed by a dental professional. And the long-term effects of it staying on your teeth are detrimental to your dental and general health.
A major benefit of daily flossing is that it enables you to effectively remove plaque from in between your teeth and your gumline. This decreases the build-up of plaque, which in turn means less tartar can form on your teeth.
#3. Decreased Risk of Gum Disease
The build-up of plaque and tartar not only looks unsightly, but it also does serious damage to your teeth and gums. It can lead to gum disease, which is the infection and inflammation of your gums.
The plaque that lingers in your mouth as a result of not flossing also breaks down your gum tissue. This causes periodontal disease. In advanced forms, periodontal disease leads to rapid rates of decay and root canal problems.
The best way to keep your gums healthy and avoid gum disease and periodontal disease is by flossing in addition to brushing. Flossing allows you to remove bacteria from the part of our gums that are most vulnerable, which is at the base of the teeth.
#4. Fresh Breath
Food that gets stuck between your teeth is broken down by the bacteria in your mouth, which can cause a bad odour. Daily flossing removes this debris which directly prevents bad breath.
Bad breath is also the symptom of several dental health issues, for example, tooth decay and gum disease. Issues like these are prevented by adhering to a good dental hygiene routine that includes daily flossing in addition to brushing your teeth.
There is no arguing that a great benefit of flossing is fresher breath!
How to Floss like a Pro
Many people dislike flossing. Some people say it’s too fiddly. Some say it hurts. But the reality is, when done correctly, flossing can be quick and comfortable. Of course, it does take a bit of getting used to.
But luckily, we have some tips to share with you on how to floss like a pro to give you a head start.
- Begin with around 30cm or 40cm of floss. Wind it around each of your middle fingers, leaving just 3cm or so to floss your teeth with.
- Have a solid grip on the floss with your thumbs and index finger before you start sliding it up and down the spaces between your teeth. Use a back and forth motion to insert and remove the floss.
- Be gentle – no part of flossing, if done correctly, requires too much vigour.
- Slide the floss gently around the base of each of your teeth, under your gumline.
- Use a clean section of floss for each tooth.
Floss Your Way to Dental Health!
We hope this article has made you want to reach for the floss tonight and make it a part of your everyday dental routine.
As you can see, flossing is important when it comes to keeping our teeth and gums healthy. And our dental health plays a large role in our overall health!
Brushing your teeth only does part of the work. So, brushing alone is not enough. Our experienced dentists at our Canley Heights practice are happy to answer any of your flossing questions and show you how it’s done during your dental appointment.
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*for patients with dental private health insurance
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We are located at 1/229 Canley Vale Road in Canley Heights.