Is Flossing Really a Big Deal?

Dental Floss - Is it a big deal? Dr. CovellWe all know that brushing daily leads to a healthier mouth. Flossing does too, but many people choose not to do it. Or if they do floss, it’s sporadic rather than routine. But is flossing really necessary? Absolutely. Flossing regularly in conjunction with brushing twice a day is your first line of defense against oral health problems. If you don’t floss, plaque-causing bacteria starts to breed between your teeth and underneath your gums.

One of the main benefits of flossing is fresh breath. By removing particles of food from your mouth, you’re reducing your chance of bacteria buildup which can lead to bad breath. What’s more, flossing is an effective way to get rid of bacteria-laden biofilm that builds up on your teeth. If  this biofilm remains on your teeth you put yourself at greater risk of developing gum infection (gingivitis) which can then cause gum disease (periodontitis.)

Flossing the Right Way
According to the American Dental Association, follow these guidelines to floss effectively:

  • Wrap the ends of an 18-inch piece of floss around your middle fingers
  • Hold the floss tightly between your thumb and index finger and guide it between your teeth, curving the floss to reach the contours of your teeth
  • As the floss reaches the gum line, shape it into a “C” shape and move it gently up and down
  • Do this on the other side of that tooth, then repeat this exercise with the rest of your teeth
  • Be sure to reach your back teeth where most gum disease and decay can appear

The bottom line: flossing is essential for a healthy mouth. To make sure you’re doing all you can for your pearly whites, make flossing a part of your oral hygiene regimen each day, and visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups and cleanings.

To learn more about maintain good oral health, or to schedule your next dental visit, contact the office of Paul Covell, DDS online or by calling 713.943.9832. We look forward to hearing from you!


Posted in: Dental Health

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