Although considered optional by most, flossing is not supposed to be an optional habit. Dental professionals everywhere have continually tried to educate their patients about the importance of dental flossing.
Various health organizations consider flossing a crucial part of maintaining good oral health and recommend it be done at least once daily. Here’s why it needs to be a part of your daily oral hygiene routine:
Reasons to make Flossing a Daily Routine
Fight Bad Breath
Bad breath (halitosis) is a common issue caused by the food trapped between your teeth. The trapped, decaying food debris can harbor harmful bacteria and lead to bad breath. Flossing is one of the tools that can help prevent that food buildup, which can also erode your tooth enamel, causing cavities, also leading to bad breath.
Eliminate Plaque Buildup
Severe plaque buildup can lead to dental problems like cavities and gum diseases. When the bacteria in our mouth break down the sugars in foods, it releases acids that react with our tooth’s enamel, leading to erosion. The acidic content in foods can directly cause this erosion, too. This bacteria, carbohydrates from food, and acids can combine to form a sticky film around and between our teeth called plaque. Plaque also releases acids, causing further erosion to the tooth’s enamel. The best way to avoid this plaque between your teeth is regular flossing.
Prevent Cavities and Gum Diseases
The more plaque buildup you have on your teeth, the higher the chances of developing cavities. Plaque causes tooth decay, ultimately leading to cavities. So flossing between your teeth helps prevent plaque buildup and hence cavities.
Gum diseases are serious issues that can recede your gums and make you lose bone support for your teeth. Left untreated, they can also cause an inflammatory response in the entire body.
Practicing good oral hygiene, like brushing your teeth and flossing daily, is essential to preventing gum diseases.
You might also like to read, How to Floss with Braces?
Helps with Heart Health
According to the American Heart Association, there’s a link between your overall health and oral health. It was also found in a large study that people with good oral hygiene had reduced risks of atrial fibrillation and heart failure.
Flossing cleans the narrow gaps between your teeth that are difficult to clean otherwise—not flossing leaves about 35% of the overall tooth surface uncleaned. So what do you need to keep in mind for efficient flossing?
- Don’t be too aggressive. That will harm your gums.
- Firmly but gently scrape your teeth from top to bottom.
- Use gentle rocking motions to prevent further harming your gums.
- Remember the back of your last tooth.
- Maintain a regular pattern to avoid missing any parts.
- Use your thumb and forefingers to hold the floss taut and leave about 2.5 cm of floss between your hands.
Developing The Habit
Despite knowing the significance of flossing, it can still be challenging to develop a habit, no matter how small. We’re here to help with that aspect, too. Here’s what you can do to make flossing an everyday habit!
According to studies, the best way to develop a new habit, or maintain an old one, is to leave cues for that habit. Cues are the easiest way to remind yourself to perform tasks. You can create cues by:
- Leaving a post-it note on your mirror
- Setting an alarm
- Using dental hygiene reminder apps
The next step to developing a regular habit is making it easy and accessible. Keep your floss stashed everywhere! Your bag, work desk drawer, by the TV, anywhere you can floss as soon as your eyes catch it.
Habit-stacking is another way of helping yourself develop good habits. Pick something you do every day and attach your flossing routine to it. For example, keep it beside your toothbrush so it’s easier to do it right after brushing your teeth. Or keep it around you at meals, so you develop the habit of doing it after a meal.
Rewards help! When you notice yourself flossing regularly, small rewards can be an excellent way of motivating you to continue the new habit.
When you first start flossing, your gums may be a little tender and bleed. If the bleeding doesn’t stop as your gums get healthier, make sure you see a dentist.
Need help building a healthier oral hygiene routine? TruCare Dentistry provides the best dental services in Roswell, GA. It is also ideal for patients from neighboring areas such as Alpharetta, Dunwoody, Marietta, Milton, Sandy Springs, or Woodstock. To book an appointment at TruCare Dentistry and know more about our services, visit our website or call (678) 321-7575.