Flossing helps to remove food particles and bacteria from between your teeth and along your gumline. When this bacteria builds up, it forms plaque, a sticky, colorless film that can threaten your oral health by contributing to tooth decay and ginigivitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, which can then evolve into periodontitis, the full-blown form of this health condition. “Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums around your teeth, which will progress to periodontitis, which is inflammation of the gums in combination with bone loss. When left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.
Bleeding gums, a high rate of cavities, bone loss, and bad breath” are prevalent in people who don’t make flossing a habit.
Here are tips for flossing more effectively:
- When using traditional floss instead of another type of interdental cleaner, use a long piece around 18 inches so there’s enough clean floss to get in between all your teeth.
- Tie the floss around your middle finger on both hands and pinch it with your thumbs.
- Keep the distance between your two hands small and go between each tooth in your mouth. Do this gently to avoid harming your gums.
- To clean both teeth, make a C shape, hugging one tooth and sliding up and down, then make a C shape around the adjacent tooth and repeat the motion. Don’t forget the back sides of your last teeth!
- Consider using a mouthwash, such as Therasol, after flossing to rinse your mouth and remove as much bad bacteria as possible.
The bottom line: When combined with brushing your teeth, flossing every day is a great way to keep your mouth healthy.