Why Floss is Important?

Importance of Flossing

According to the oral hygiene statistics by the American Dental Association published in Statistic Brain, 50.5% of Americans use floss every day, 31% of them do not floss regularly and 18.5% do not floss at all. Of course, these 49.5% of Americans have reasons they do not floss daily. Their typical excuses are, they do not know how to do it, no food is trapped between their teeth, and fear of pain. But do these alibis matter? What is important is the fact that they are not aware of its oral benefits so why floss?

Floss cleans between the teeth and under the gums.
We always think that toothbrush is enough to clean our teeth. We do not realize that there are some areas in our teeth that toothbrush cannot reach. Its bristles cannot possibly go between the teeth and under the gums. Only dental floss can penetrate these zones. This is why dentists recommend flossing before brushing because it helps loosen the plaque and it allows the fluoride in the toothpaste to reach most areas of the mouth.

Floss prevents gum disease.
Plaque has microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria and microscopic parasites. We can imagine that if we do not make a daily habit of removing this plaque, we only let it accumulate thereby causing inflammation. This is already a dental problem that is called gingivitis, the initial phase to gum disease. Gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, which harms the bone that clamps the teeth in the jaw. Without proper treatment, this will cause tooth loss.

Floss helps avoid tooth decay.
Foods trapped between our teeth and under the gums begin to harden and turn into plaque. If we are unable to eliminate it, it causes cavities. When combined with sugar, the microorganisms in the plaque will begin to develop tooth decay.

Floss makes us confident to smile.
Because we know we use dental floss, we feel confident that people will see nothing between our teeth. Plaque will not be present either as we are able to eliminate it.

As we are now aware of the benefits of using dental floss that we will no longer ask “Why floss”, our next project will be to know how to floss effectively.

Floss lets you save cash.
Our initial reaction will be: “How is that possible?” Flossing lets you avoid getting gum disease, which of course entails cost when your dentist has to cure it. It also decreases the number of times you have to visit your dentist because you are maintaining an excellent oral health.

Helpful Tips in Flossing
The American Dental Hygienists Association divided the key elements in flossing: wind, guide, glide and slide.

Wind – Wrap 18 inches long of dental floss around your middle fingers. Hold it between your index fingers and thumbs, leaving only one to two inches of length in the middle. To lead the floss to the upper teeth, use your thumbs.

Guide – Keeping the distance of one to two inches between your fingers, direct the floss to the lower teeth using your index fingers.

Glide – In zigzag motion, bring the floss between the teeth. Do this gently to avoid harming your gum. Curve floss to clean the sides of the teeth.

Slide – Glide floss up and down each surface of the tooth and underneath the gum line. Remember to use the clean part of the floss for each tooth.

If you are using an electric flosser, the techniques are basically the same. Bring the dental floss between each tooth and move it to and fro so you will create a zigzag motion. For hand-held flosser, touch the handle steadily. Point its tip toward the area you want to floss first. Direct it gently in between. What if you have braces? Buy orthodontic floss, which is especially designed for individuals like you.

Ask the help of your dentist if even with these flossing techniques you still feel scared of not being able to do it the properly. He or she can show you how you should do it.

Why floss? Flossing is as important as brushing our teeth. In fact, it makes brushing our teeth more effective as it removes all the debris in between them. No excuses are valid enough to ignore this dental hygiene.

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