Many people are not fond of flossing, which we completely understand! At first, flossing can be uncomfortable and even quite awkward as you work out the best angles to get between your teeth and clean out your gums. However, for all the hassles flossing provides, it also provides many benefits that far outweigh the negatives.
By helping our patients understand the importance of flossing, we hope you can see that this is an extremely important dental hygiene habit to get into. If you start good flossing habits now, you can have healthier teeth and gums (and more pleasant dental checkups!) for the rest of your life.
What Are the Benefits of Flossing?
There are two main things that flossing regularly prevents: gingivitis and cavities between the teeth.
When you floss, you are removing the buildup of plaque between your teeth and between the teeth and the gums, which harbors lots of bacteria. These bacteria can irritate the gums and allow more bacteria to grow, leading to bleeding and gingivitis. These same bacteria can also eat away at the enamel of your teeth, leading to cavities over time.
How Often Should I Floss?
Flossing is recommended at least once every 24 hours, so plaque is not allowed to fester for any significant amount of time. It is best to do it right before bed after brushing your teeth for the night.
How Can I Floss if I Have Braces?
Sorry, braces wearers, but you are not excluded from needing to floss! While flossing with braces might be more cumbersome, it is just as important that you keep up with the habit regularly—and there are a few different options to make it easier. While you can use traditional dental floss despite braces, many people choose to make use of a Waterpik or floss threader to make the process easier. Really, the method that works best is the method you will use the most, so it is important to figure out what works for you.
Taking care of your teeth is a must, and we are here to help! If you would like to explore braces or Invisalign, we would love to chat about your options. Schedule a virtual appointment today to learn more.