Although it is important to understand how to avoid common causes of tooth trauma if you want to protect your teeth, that’s not the main threat to your teeth. The most common cause of tooth loss among adults is gum disease. And probably your best weapon against gum disease is good oral hygiene, including flossing.
But as recent research has shown, people may not always get benefits from flossing. So how do you make sure that you get the intended benefits of flossing–here are some tips.
Floss Every Day
Flossing every day is vital to making it effective. When food and plaque stay on your teeth, they can cause more damage to both your teeth and gums. Trapped food particles, for example, can supply oral bacteria with a constant supply of food, allowing them to grow and produce more destructive acids.
And the longer plaque stays on your teeth, the more minerals it will absorb from your saliva. These minerals are supposed to help mineralize your teeth, but when these minerals combine with plaque, they form a hardened substance known as tartar or dental calculus. This calculus is basically rocks on your teeth. It provides shelter for bacteria, which can grow and damage your teeth and gums. It can also be unattractive and discolored. So you want to remove it regularly before it has too much time to absorb these minerals.
And another benefit of flossing every day is that you’ll get more practice and your flossing technique will improve. The better you are at flossing, the faster and more effective you’ll get.
Flossing every day also helps you get past the initial stage where gums may be tender and may even bleed. Not only will you be toughening up your gums, but as your technique improves, you’ll be more gentle. And you’ll be reducing gum disease, which is part of what makes your gums bleed in the first place.
Try Different Tools
The right tool for the right job can make a big difference. So what is the right tool for your flossing? Well, that depends. There are many different options for flossing. Flosses come in threads, tapes with different thicknesses and textures. They even come in different flavors. And if you have trouble with floss, you can try disposable flossers and other types of interdental cleaners.
When you find the tool that’s right for you, you’ll see that flossing can be easier than you thought–and your results will get better!
Ask for Help If You Need It
Flossing is not an easy skill to master. That’s why it’s important to take the time to practice and to find the right tool for you. But sometimes even that’s not enough for you to get the best results. Sometimes you just need to ask for help.
If you find that flossing remains a challenge or that you’re not getting the results you desire, maybe it’s time to ask for help. We can demonstrate the proper flossing technique and help you get the hang of it. We can direct you to the places in your mouth where you’re not cleaning effectively and show you how to access them properly.
The Rewards of Proper Flossing
If you’re flossing properly, you’ll be much happier with your oral health. Swelling, redness, and bleeding of your gums will go down. You’ll have less sensitivity to foods and get less food stuck between your teeth and gums. And when it comes time for your routine checkups and hygiene visits, you’ll be happy that they are shorter and easier. You’ll have fewer cavities. And you may even notice improvements in your overall health, including your ability to exercise.
Proper oral hygiene is a team effort. We’re prepared to do our part–and to make it easier for you to do yours. Working together, we can enjoy the benefits of your healthier, more attractive smile.