The US Department of Health and Human Services says flossing is an important part of daily oral hygiene for patients of all ages. The professional staff at Mt. Holly Family Dentistry says flossing removes sticky, bacteria-filled plaque, protecting your mouth from cavities and gum disease. Flossing is easy, and it’s really effective. Paired with brushing and preventive dental care keeps smiles bright and overall health strong.
Plaque is Definitely Toxic
Your mouth is teeming with bacteria–some beneficial and some harmful. Streptococcus mutans causes tooth decay, and it thrives in the sticky plaque and hard tartar which build-up on and in between teeth and under gums. Plaque results from the processed sugars and carbs we eat, and if not removed with twice a day brushing and daily flossing, plaque leads to decay and to the inflammatory gum infection called periodontitis.
So, the American Dental Association advises brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and soft brush and also flossing daily. Additionally, your dentist at Mt. Holly Family Dentistry wants to see all his patients twice a year for oral check-ups and professional cleanings.
The dentists also recommends flossing to remove plaque because that oral bacteria appears linked to several systemic diseases. While research does not establish a definite cause and effect relationship between oral bacteria and systemic health, most dentists agree that their patients with active gum disease also seem to have:
- Type-2 diabetes
- Heart Disease
- High blood pressure
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Pregnancy problems
- Rheumatoid arthritis
So, it pays to be cautious. Take time to floss.
The Right Way to Floss
The dentists at Mt. Holly Family Dentistry recommend this flossing routine:
- Select a flossing product that you like–Y-shaped flossers, interdental brushes and plain, flavored, or waxed floss are some examples. The most important thing is picking a floss and using it consistently.
- To start flossing, pull a 12 to 18 inch length from the dispenser, and wind the ends around the index or middle fingers of opposing hands.
- Pull it taut, and insert a one- to two-inch strand between two teeth. Gently move the floss up and down the interdental space. Do not snap the floss against gum tissue. Again, be gentle.
- Move around the top and bottom teeth until all interdental spaces and backmost molars are clean.
- Use a new strand each time you floss.
- Floss at the same time each day. Most people floss before they go to bed.
Other Preventive Measures
In addition to brushing and flossing, Drs. Cygler, Govitrikar and Greenberg tell patients to consume a healthy, low-carb diet with plenty of high-calcium dairy and fibrous fruits and vegetables. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily, and get semi-annual exams and cleanings with your dentist in Mt. Holly. Contact Mt. Holly Family Dentistry for your check-up and cleaning today!