29 Dec Don’t Toss the Floss!
In recent years, there has been some debate in the news about the effectiveness of flossing. However, dental experts agree that even if there aren’t a lot of scientific studies available to support it, you shouldn’t assume there are no benefits of flossing. As dentists, we can immediately tell the difference between a patient who flosses and one who doesn’t. So here at Hicks Dental Group in Prescott, we want to remind you that you should still be flossing at least once a day. Here are some of the benefits of flossing:
1. Helps Prevent Tooth Decay
Proper flossing removes the plaque that can build up between the teeth. Plaque formation leads to tooth decay and dental caries (cavities). Unfortunately, toothbrushes are not effective at reaching such a narrow space between the teeth.
2. Improves Breath
Food debris and bacteria trapped in between the teeth can cause foul odors. Flossing daily can help remove these particles of food and bacteria, which will not only freshen your breath, but will also help keep your smile more beautiful.
3. Helps Prevent Gingivitis
Gingivitis occurs from an immune-mediated inflammatory response in the presence of a bacterial biofilm between the teeth. Simply put, this means that as bacteria builds up between the teeth, it releases toxins that irritate the gums, causing a response from your immune system. As a result, the gums become red and swollen. They may also bleed with brushing and flossing. Gingivitis is a serious condition because it can lead to periodontitis and tooth loss if not treated properly. Flossing daily helps to remove the bacterial growth between your teeth that can contribute to gingivitis.
Don’t just take our word for it!
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends interdental cleaning, such as flossing, as an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums. Here’s what they had to say in response to the debate about flossing: “Cleaning between teeth removes plaque that can lead to cavities or gum disease from the areas where a toothbrush can’t reach. Interdental cleaning is proven to help remove debris between teeth that can contribute to plaque buildup.”
To experience the benefits of flossing, it’s essential to do it correctly. Improper technique can damage the gums and/or be ineffective. In our next post, we’ll explain proper, effective flossing technique. And as a reminder, flossing is not a replacement for the rest of your oral hygiene routine. Flossing, along with twice-daily brushing and regular dental cleanings here at Hicks Dental Group in Prescott, will go a long way to helping your teeth and gums stay healthy, strong, and beautiful.