Is Flossing Necessary?
According to the NHS, everyone over the age of 12 should use interdental brushes or floss as part of a daily teeth cleaning routine. However, not everyone follows this advice and flossing is seen as a cumbersome task that isn’t as essential as brushing. With this in mind, we look at why flossing is necessary and how to do it the right way to ensure your teeth and gums are as healthy as possible.
Why is flossing important?
Multiple small-scale studies have found myriad benefits to flossing. People who floss regularly are less prone to mild gum disease and are less likely to see a build-up of plaque over a period of several months. While there’s no evidence showing that flossing will prevent acute periodontitis (severe gum disease), we know enough to say that flossing your teeth regularly is a good thing.
One of the reasons that flossing is so important is that it allows you to reach the surfaces of your teeth that brushing can’t get to. Flossing clears food particles from the gaps of your teeth, which, if left, could breed bacteria and lead to infection. As mentioned, this process protects you from mild gum disease, which is good for your overall health and wellbeing. So, while it might not be particularly comfortable, flossing should be a key part of your daily dental routine.
How to floss correctly
You can either use thread or tape to floss your teeth, depending on which you find easier. It’s important that you’re not too aggressive with flossing, as you can damage your gums if you apply too much pressure. To successfully floss, you need to push the thread or tape between your teeth, gently scraping on the way down. Once in between your teeth, use a gentle rocking motion to guide the floss between your teeth.
It’s vital that you don’t snap the floss into your gums as this will cause them to bleed. It’s also best to work your way methodically through your teeth so you don’t miss any teeth out. You should seek to use approximately 45cm of floss per session, with some wrapped around a finger on each hand to make it nice and easy to control. If you struggle with flossing, you could always consider an interdental brush as a viable alternative.
Start flossing today
At Pure Smiles, we think flossing should be an important part of your daily dental routine, and you should do it at least once, either in the morning or evening before you go to bed. While flossing can help to improve your dental health, it alone isn’t enough to stave off gingivitis, so you need to make sure you’re looking after your teeth by brushing regularly, using mouthwash, and having a checkup with your dentist once every six months. To book an appointment with one of our dentists or hygienists, give us a call today on 0208 015 0931.