White teeth

A Daily Question: Why Floss?

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Not many people enjoy the idea of flossing every day, and they wonder why they really need to floss. For some, it just comes across as too much work. Every three months when you visit your dentist, you’ll get a few minutes of advice on the importance of flossing your teeth. But nevertheless, it might float by with a yawn. If the traditional way of flossing your teeth comes across as too much of a task for you, opt for interdental brushes, dental flosses, and even electrical flossing devices.

Flossing plays a vital role in contributing to that bright, healthy smile of yours. The question is, “Why floss?


waterpik water flosser


The Importance of Regular Flossing

According to research published by the Journal of Dental Hygiene, flossing and brushing your teeth regularly can help significantly reduce plaque and gingivitis. The prolonged buildup of plaque leads to the formation of tartar on your teeth. Moreover, there are regions of the mouth where your toothbrush might not reach. Flossing lets you remove the stuck food particles from these areas.

Deteriorating oral health might not seem like a very visible factor. Thus, people often tend to ignore it for a long period until symptoms develop and they experience discomfort.

Here are a few common reasons why flossing is vital for your oral health:

It Protects the Gums

Unhealthy gums can highly increase the chances of you needing extensive treatment and even losing your teeth. You might think brushing your teeth twice daily can prevent all kinds of problems, but it’s not always enough. Flossing forms a part of your regime for good oral hygiene. People suffering from bleeding or sensitive gums often fear flossing and tend to avoid it. But flossing can strengthen your gums and prevent bone loss, the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

Flossing Stops Tartar Buildup

The most uncomfortable part of a dental visit is when your dentist scrapes the tartar off your teeth. Tartar is a stubborn buildup of plaque along the gumline that once formed, cannot be removed without professional dental help. Flossing removes plaque from your teeth in its initial stage of formation. You can prevent the accumulation of tartar in your mouth by tending to plaque at its preliminary stage before it hardens up.

Prevents the Development of Other Diseases

The effect of dental diseases can go beyond mild discoloration of your teeth, bad breath, and a feeling of discomfort. Medical researches show that the presence of bacteria in the mouth can adversely harm the rest of your body as well. Respiratory illness, diabetes, and heart disease are a few common problems that might arise due to unhealthy oral hygiene. As long ago as 2003, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encouraged public health initiatives to begin addressing oral health as a way to control major health issues and life-threatening diseases. These diseases tend to effect multiple organs of the human body.

Saves the Pinch in your Pocket

Still wondering, Why Floss? In an age where health costs are sky-high, and the benefits of health insurance are diminishing, taking appropriate steps to bring down your medical expenses pays. A report published by Children’s Dental Health Project (CDHP) suggested that children who had their first dental checkup before the age of one year had incurred 40% lower dental costs as compared to the ones who visited the dentist after that age.


Electric Water Flosser


Challenges Associated with Flossing

One of the most common challenges associated people face while flossing is gum pain. Improper flossing technique often causes minor damages to the gums and results in soreness. The same is applicable in case of people with tooth sensitivity as well. Gum diseases are one of the most significant causes of tooth sensitivity. It is best to avoid using traditional house floss in such cases and look for versions designed to cater to specific needs of your oral health.

People often tend to use a floss incorrectly. Wrap the floss around the neck of each tooth. Pass the floss up and down between the spaces of your teeth, instead of operating it in a saw-like motion.

Choosing the Right Dental Floss

Flossing begins with choosing the right kind of floss that is best for you and your dental condition.
Here are a few categorizations of flosses according to a few different dental conditions:

  • Large gaps between the teeth – Super Floss; Dental Tapes
  • Less space between your teeth – Waxed flosses that are easier to slide between tight spaces
  • Wearing bridges or braces – Flosses with threaders; Sponge Floss

Standard floss might be the best option while traveling while using a quality water flosser at home. Water flossers are a recent favorite among people extremely aware of their oral hygiene. The oral irrigator makes use of pulsating high-pressure water to remove debris and plaque below the gumline.

If you are seriously considering investing in oral care, Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser provides a great pick from the category. The device comes with a Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association (ADA) that adds on to its authenticity. The flosser also offers 10 distinct pressure settings with a pressure range from 10 – 100 PSI, with 90 seconds of water capacity. It efficiently penetrates the gaps and cleanses between the teeth. A perfect device with individuals with braces, periodontal pockets, and crowns.

Irrespective of the method of flossing used, cleaning the areas between your teeth should be part of your daily routine. The use of a water flosser is the secret of many patients with impeccable dental health. How ever you do it, the effort pays!

About the Author Dr. Greg

Dr. Greg's experience in dentistry spans over 25 years serving patients of all ages. He's an advisor to www.emergencydentistsusa.com and a consultant to many professional dental projects.