Flossing: Still Important

woman with a comfortable smileWhile many patients will brush their teeth at least once a day, less than half of Americans floss that much. Some never floss at all. Flossing is actually more important in preventive dentistry than many people realize. If you want to stave off cavities and gum disease (the first and second most prevalent oral health issues in the world) you may want to think about becoming more diligent with your flossing routine.

The Perfect Supplement to Brushing

Brushing only removes bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth. Flossing reaches the spaces between teeth and removes microbes and food at the gumline. Brushing simply cannot reach everywhere, and food stuck between teeth is a feast for cavity-causing bacteria. Bad breath also arises from failure to floss, and flossing after meals will combat this. Having gum disease increases your risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, stroke, and diabetes complications.

No More Excuses

  • No time for flossing? Once you have practice, a single minute per day is all it really takes. Ask yourself which is a better use of your time: spending a few minutes a day flossing, or multiple hours receiving treatment for dental infections?
  • It seems difficult and uncomfortable? There are many different types of floss available to address your unique needs. Floss picks, interdental cleaners, and oral irrigators take most of the difficulty out of flossing, and are great for those with arthritis or other mobility issue.
  • Can’t get floss through bridges or braces? Bridges and orthodontics can make flossing properly difficult. Floss threaders and spongy “superfloss” can reach spaces ordinary floss can’t. They are also good for flossing around braces and fixed retainers.
  • Don’t really understand the process? This is the most easily addressed excuse of all. Just ask Dr. Burds or any of our staff how to floss and we’ll be happy to offer you a lesson. We will show you how to floss and recommend a flossing product that is right for you. You can also check out this illustrated guide to flossing published by the American Dental Hygienists’ Association.

Visit your Des Moines Dentist

However you floss, do so daily. If you have difficulty flossing, questions about flossing techniques, or would like to know more about different flossing products, call Gateway Dental Group today at (515) 244-9565. Dr. Burds serves patients in Sherman Hill, River Bend, Kirkwood Glen, East Village, and the communities surrounding Des Moines.