Why is Flossing so Important

 

Why Flossing is ImportantLet’s be honest here, I know for the most part everyone brushes their pearly whites on a daily basis, but are we forgetting about a really significant step in taking care of our dental hygiene by not flossing? We are missing such an important step in our dental routine; on average flossing cleans an additional 30% of the tooth’s surface that brushing misses, and flossing is the only thing that can really get in between those teeth and gums to get rid of that harmful bacteria! There are so many excuses people give to avoid flossing like “food never gets stuck in my teeth” or “I don’t know how” or even “I’m not coordinated enough to floss” well shame on all of you because flossing can have so many benefits to dental hygiene.

Unlike brushing, floss is an inter-dental cleaner so it cleans more than just the surfaces of teeth and gums. It gets between those tight spaces a toothbrush cannot reach and despite that mouthwash can kill the bacteria that forms plaque. It will not remove the tart and bits of food that are lodged in those tiny tight spaces. Proper dental care can do more than just keep your smile pretty and healthy but can prevent serious life-threatening diseases as well. Even with brushing twice a day you’re not receiving the optimal cleaning needed to maintain good oral hygiene.  Floss is a tool specifically made to remove plaque from the tight spaces between teeth and under gums and flossing prior to brushing can also help brushing be more effective.

Sure it is nice to have the surface of your teeth that people see nice and clean, but it is so important to understand that for overall good oral hygiene flossing is necessary. We cannot always see the roots of our teeth covered by soft tissue (the gums), but we understand that is where our teeth are stuck in our mouths. It is so easy for food particles to get lodged here and plaque that creates tartar over time. Flossing removes these particles and bacteria where mouthwash and a toothbrush cannot.

Flossing can help prevent other diseases as well since the bacteria in the mouth can easily travel to any other parts of the body, which can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory illness. Regular flossing prevents plaque buildup in its easiest to remove stage which is sticky soft and pliable, keeping it from hardening and becoming tartar.

For those who do not know how to properly floss the American Dental Association gives these tips:

  • Use 18 inches of floss and wrap most of it around the finger of one hand the rest around a finger on the other hand
  • Grasp the string tightly between thumb and other finger using a rubbing motion to guide between teeth
  • When floss reaches the gum line form a “c” to follow the shape of the tooth
  • Hold strand firmly against tooth and gently move up and down
  • Repeat with other teeth until all are done
  • Make sure to change sections of floss after each tooth of floss after each tooth

How to Properly Brush Your Teeth and Floss

If you aren’t quite sure how to properly brush your teeth you’ve come to the right place then. Many of us brush our teeth daily, but are we brushing them correctly? There’s a correct way of brushing your teeth and then there is a wrong way. The right way consists of using the right kind of toothbrush, technique, and brushing the right amount of time.

A good majority of dentists will admit that using a soft-bristled toothbrush is terrific for your teeth. It is definitely the best option to remove bacteria, germs, and food from your teeth. Small-headed brushes are also acceptable. They can reach difficult areas of the mouth that are hard to reach. Many dentists also recommend electric powered toothbrushes. They can be more efficient than a manual toothbrush at brushing, removing plaque, and bacteria from the teeth and mouth. The top brands have also been known to whiten your teeth in as little as two weeks.

The correct technique to use is angling your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line and then rolling or sweeping the toothbrush away from the gum line. The second step is to lightly brush back and forth on the outside and inside of the chewing surface of the teeth. The last step is to lightly brush the tongue to clear away any germs or bacteria. Always make sure you are brushing no less than two minutes. Watch this video below for more information brushing properly.

 

How to Properly Floss Your Teeth?

The first step is to use the best and most efficient dental floss. There are a handful of varieties on the market and you want to make sure you choose the right one that matches your needs. Here are some key points you might want to know when choosing dental floss. It is waxed and un-waxed. Waxed floss will move easier between teeth then un-waxed floss will. Tape floss will work best for those with larger gaps between the teeth. There are two main forms that floss will come in. These two forms are PTFE and nylon. PTFE floss is more pricey, but is easier to move between the teeth and is unlikely to shred.

The next step is to grab about twenty inches of dental floss and wrap it around both index fingers tightly leaving about 4 inches in between. Then slowly and lightly move the floss between the teeth using a C motion and moving up and down. It is very important to do this part gently to prevent gum damage or bleeding. It doesn’t really matter where you start at. Some people prefer to start at the center, while others prefer to start on the left or right side. Complete doing this in between each tooth. Finally, rinse the mouth with mouthwash or water. This will help clear the mouth of any loose particles that came out from in between the teeth. This will also refresh your mouth. Remember to always floss your teeth at least once a day. The video below gives a good demonstration on how to properly floss your teeth.

 

What Causes Tooth Decay

prevent cavitiesYou probably already know that cavities are a hole in the tooth that needs to be repaired by a dental professional as soon as possible. What you may not know is that they are a result of tooth decay that gradually occurs over time. The real cause of tooth decay is bad bacteria that lives in our mouth. Different types of bacteria live on our gums, teeth, and tongue. Some of these are good and some are bad. The bad bacteria is a result of foods filled with sugar that create acids and lead to an infection of the teeth. Over time this leads to nasty cavities forming.

What Occurs in the Mouth Daily?

An all out war occurs in the mouth daily. This war occurs between two enemies good and bad. The good side consists of saliva and fluoride. The bad side consists of plaque and food or beverages that are rich in sugar or starch. Saliva contains important minerals such as phosphate and calcium. Fluoride is found in tap water, toothpaste, several mouth rinses, and other sources. These two help rebuild and reverse tooth decay by restocking minerals lost during attacks caused by acid. Acid is formed by plaque and bad foods and beverages. It is an ongoing battle in our mouth daily. We are the only ones that can make sure the good side keeps winning. Taking the right steps will help combat tooth decay and cavities.

what causes tooth decayHow to Prevent Cavities?

If you want to prevent cavities, you need to properly maintain your teeth. This means watching what you eat, properly brushing at least twice a day, and flossing properly. If you eat or drink foods that contain a lot of sugar throughout the day such as pop, candy, and cookies make sure to brush, floss, and rinse your mouth with fluoride at the end of the day. If you don’t it will definitely lead to plaque buildup, tooth decay, and cavities.

It is absolutely crucial that you brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. Not only is it crucial to brush and floss often, you also want to make sure you are doing both properly. This means brushing each quadrant of your teeth and making sure to brush no less than two minutes. When brushing make sure to start from one side of the mouth and work your way to the other by using a circular motion with the brush. If you don’t like to brush manually then an electric toothbrush is highly recommended.

List of Ways to Prevent Cavities

Brush the teeth using fluoride toothpaste – Make sure you are brushing your teeth at least two times daily or after each meal. If you aren’t able to brush after each meal then at least make an attempt to rinse the mouth with water.

Rinse your mouth with fluoride mouthwash – It is important to rinse your mouth with fluoride mouthwash after you brush. Fluoride mouthwash will kill all the bad germs and bacteria in your mouth allowing the good bacteria to keep your mouth healthy.

Make a visit to your dentist professional regularly – Visiting your dentist regularly is very important. Receiving regular exams and cleanings can help stop issues or spot them before they happen.

Drinking tap water – Drinking tap water once in a while can help reduce cavities. Tap water contains fluoride which is shown to fight bad bacteria in the mouth. Fluoride is not found in bottled water.

Watching what you eat – If your diet consists of a lot of sugary and starchy foods such as bread, candy, and desserts you are more likely to have problems. Limiting the amount of starch and sugar in your diet will prevent these problems from occurring.