Flossing is an adjunct to tooth brushing and it is as important as tooth brushing. It helps to remove food debris and plaque that sticks to teeth and gums in between teeth.
It is recommended that you floss once daily. Flossing can be done before or after brushing. Children can also start to floss as soon as they have two teeth touching each other.
These are five reasons why dentists recommend daily flossing;
1. Effective Cleaning.
When you use floss with tooth brushing, it is more effective than tooth brushing alone. Toothbrushes get to about 65% of the tooth surfaces leaving some areas unclean. The bristles of a toothbrush cannot effectively clean in between teeth especially in people who have tight spaces. Plaque that is not removed becomes hard and very difficult to remove. Flossing helps to clean those surfaces that are hard to clean.
2. Reduces the risk of gum disease.
Gum disease can be caused by continuous plaque formation on the teeth. This plaque irritates the gum thus leading to bleeding gums, swollen gum, gum pain and even gum infection. Research has shown that daily flossing helps to reduce the problem of gingivitis and the risk of periodontitis.
3. Eliminates mouth odour.
Food debris that get stuck in between our teeth actually rot after a while and this produces mouth odour. Bleeding gums also contribute to mouth odour. Flossing helps to eliminate stagnant food hence reducing the risk of developing mouth odour.
4. Lowers the risk of heart disease:
According to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), people with periodontal disease (severe gum disease) are almost twice likely to have coronary heart disease. The bacteria in dental plaque can escape into the blood stream, travel through the arteries and result in blood clots that can cause fatal heart attack. Flossing regularly can prevent gum disease, reducing the risk of developing heart disease.