Parents teach their children at an early age the importance of brushing their teeth at least twice every day. They tell their kids this is the foundation of good oral health. However, brushing serves as only part of the equation. People of all ages must floss daily to protect their oral and overall health. In fact, dentists now believe flossing is the same as brushing the teeth twice, and a person needs to brush twice daily and floss for the best result when it comes to their dental health.
What are the Benefits of Brushing?
A toothbrush cannot reach into the spaces between the teeth and at the gum line. This is where dental floss comes in, as it gets into those small spaces to remove any debris that has accumulated. Combine flossing with an antibacterial mouthwash to loosen and removes these contaminants that can harm oral health. Furthermore, see a Family Dentist for regular oral checkups to catch any problems early.
How Flossing Helps
When a person eats, a thin, sticky film accumulates on the teeth. If this film is allowed to remain, it begins to wear away the enamel of the teeth. Brushing and flossing help to remove the film before it can do damage. When the film sits on the teeth, it hardens and becomes plaque. Only a dentist can remove the plaque. If a person misses regular dental visits, the teeth start to decay, cavities form, and inflammation of the gums occurs.
The Importance of Plaque Removal
When the gums become inflamed, a person’s overall health is negatively impacted. Scientists have found that inflammation of the gums leads to other health issues. Dementia, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease have been linked to this common oral health issue. Flossing the teeth every day helps to prevent these medical conditions and others.
Individuals at high risk of health problems need to make oral hygiene a priority. This includes those who are elderly, any person with a serious health issue, and men and women suffering from dry mouth. Many things contribute to a dry mouth, including the medications a person takes, heredity, dehydration, and the person’s age. The best way to avoid dry mouth is to drink plenty of water. This helps to maintain the correct level of hydration in the body along with ample saliva. Saliva helps to flush bacteria from the mouth. A dentist becomes of great help in determining why a person suffers from a dry mouth and how best to address it.
Kids and Flossing
Children need to floss as well, and parents should teach them this skill at an early age. As soon as a child has two teeth that sit next to each other, begin showing them how to floss. They love learning new things at a young age, so make this a fun activity that can be done together. Once the child gets into the habit, they will probably keep it for life.
How to Floss
Many people state they floss but they continue to have dental issues. Using the proper technique when flossing is important. Start with approximately 18 inches of floss. Grip each end using the thumb and index finger and pull the floss taut. Some people find it more comfortable to loop the floss around the index fingers, and either method works.
Slide the floss between two teeth. Begin by gently moving the floss in an up-and-down motion before moving it back and forth. Doing so removes any food particles present between the teeth and at the gum line. Repeat this process for every tooth. Be sure to move to a new section of floss for each tooth. Rinse the mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash to remove the dislodged particles from the mouth.
Make flossing a priority for every member of your household. Doing so helps to save money on dental bills. More importantly, it protects a person’s oral health and overall health. No price can be put on that.
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