Your dentist has probably reminded you time and time again the importance of using floss regularly. Flossing is a major component of your oral health routine and if not properly executed can lead to plaque buildup and cavities in between your teeth. Everyone agrees it can be a drag, but it is important to your overall health.
You Don’t Floss Everyday
Sure! You might be a flossing pro Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but that isn’t enough to keep your teeth squeaky clean and free of cavities. If you do not floss daily, gum disease can develop within 24 hours, which can lead to excessive bleeding when brushing or flossing. Your saliva is a main contributor to killing bacteria and the salivary glands slow down production during the night, so the best way to ensure clean teeth is to brush and floss well before going to sleep every night.
You Snap the Floss
If you are shoving the floss into your gum line until it snaps into place to clean the area between your gums and teeth, you’re doing it wrong. This will detach gum tissue from your teeth altogether making more room for bacteria to form into plaque. Some people have teeth that are separated more than others. If you are one of the few with very tight teeth, there are special tools and thinner floss alternatives to help you glide your floss into those sensitive areas.
You Saw the Floss
A proper floss technique will clean in between each tooth as well as around the gum area. If you only floss back and forth between teeth, you are only doing half of the work. As previously mentioned, improperly flossing the gums (or not at all) can immediately cause gum disease. Try cupping your floss into a C-shape and slowly glide your floss around the entire gum line.
You Substitute Floss for Anything Stringy
Fingernails. Paperclips. Toothpicks. Using anything but floss can lead to severe gum tissue damage and even gum disease. There is a reason floss is wrapped up in small little boxes – so you can take it with you! Think twice next time you reach for the closest thing to wedge between your teeth. If you are one of these people, consider carrying travel sized floss with you.
You Rely on Brushing Alone
There is a reason why dentists urge you to brush AND floss. Each action plays a specific role in keeping your teeth healthy and your mouth bacteria free. Some dental professionals even say that if you were to pick one or the other, your choice should be to floss since gum disease tends to begin in between teeth or at the gum line.
Flossing is the number one preventative action dental patients can take against gum disease and plaque buildup. If you are interested in learning more about flossing or are in need of a full-mouth cleaning, contact Greenspoint Dental in Houston, Texas today to set up an appointment.