What Makes Flossing an Important Part of Your Routine?

What Makes Flossing an Important Part of Your Routine?

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Written By: Poulami Saha | 23 May 2024

We all know the drill: brush twice a day, rinse with mouthwash, and… floss.
Flossing can often feel like the forgotten stepchild of oral hygiene.
But let us tell you, it’s high time to give flossing the respect it deserves. Brushing might leave your teeth feeling all fresh, but flossing is a non-negotiable step for keeping up with your oral hygiene.

Why Flossing Matters?

While brushing tackles the visible surfaces of your teeth, the space between your teeth is a breeding ground for food particles and bacteria. This sticky thin-like film, called plaque, hides there, just out of reach of your toothbrush. Left undisturbed, plaque hardens into tartar, a stubborn substance that only a dentist can remove. Here’s where the simple act of flossing comes in like a superhero, making you avoid unnecessary dental visits.

By gently sliding floss between your teeth, you can…
  • Eradicate plaque and food debris: Flossing disrupts the plaque party, removing the fuel source for harmful bacteria.
  • Freshen breath: Food particles trapped between teeth can contribute to bad breath. Flossing says goodbye to those embarrassing odours.
  • Reduce gum inflammation: Plaque buildup irritates the gums, leading to gingivitis (inflammation) with symptoms like redness, swelling, and bleeding gums. Flossing helps keep your gums happy and healthy.
  • Prevent gum disease: Untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a severe gum infection that can damage the bone supporting your teeth. Flossing helps prevent this by keeping plaque in check.
  • Benefit overall appearance: Want a smile that gives confidence for years to come? Flossing goes beyond just fresh breath; flossing plays a key role in maintaining a beautiful smile. When your oral health is in top shape, you can’t help but smile.

Debunking the Same Old Flossing Myths

Flossing might get a bad rap sometimes, but here’s the primary thing: the benefits are real. Let’s tackle some common myths:
  • Myth: Flossing hurts!
    If your gums bleed when you floss, it’s a sign of inflammation. Gently flossing can help reduce inflammation and make flossing less painful over time. Consult your dentist if the bleeding persists.
  • Myth: Flossing doesn’t make a difference.
    Research consistently shows that flossing, combined with brushing, is more effective at removing plaque and preventing gum disease than brushing alone.
  • Myth: Water flossers are better than string floss.
    Both methods can be effective. String floss might be more efficient at removing plaque between tight teeth, while water flossers can be easier for people with dexterity issues. But it’s suggested to talk to your dentist first to find the best method for you.

Flossing Like a Pro (Some Tips)

Now that you know why flossing is important, let’s get down to the how-to. Here’s how to floss like a pro:
  • 1. Gear Up: Make sure to use about 18 inches of floss. You can wrap some around your middle fingers for control.
  • 2. Get in There: Gently guide the floss between each tooth, curving it around the base of the tooth to reach below the gumline.
  • 3. Slide and Scrape: Use a gentle sawing motion to remove plaque. Note that don’t force the floss – if it gets stuck, try a different technique.
  • 4. Repeat: Floss each space between your teeth, from front to back.
  • 5. Rinse and Finish: Rinse your mouth with water to remove dislodged plaque.
  • 6. Skip the Struggle: Sometimes, irritable bits of food get stuck between your teeth. Forks, safety pins, and knives are a big NO on the dental hygiene recommended list. Why? These objects are too sharp and can easily damage your gums, which leads to bleeding or even pain.

Making Flossing a ‘Regular’ Habit

We all have busy lives, but here are some tricks and tips to make flossing a regular part of your routine.
  • Floss before or after brushing: Find what works for you and stick to it.
  • Keep floss handy: Stash floss in your purse, car, or office drawer for on-the-go flossing.
  • Pair it with activity: Floss while watching TV or doing any extracurricular activities.

The Bottom Line

Flossing might seem like a grown-up thing, but starting it young can make a big difference. It helps keep your kiddo’s mouth squeaky clean, which fights off early-age cavities and keeps their grown-up teeth healthy too. Think of flossing as a small thing to do every day that can have a big impact for years to come.

One PRO Tip: Don’t forget to schedule a dental checkup with Apex Dental Clinic in Dubai. Our dentist can assess your flossing technique and provide personalized tips for optimal oral health.