When it comes to your oral health, what is public enemy number one? It’s the notorious creatures called bacteria. They are always lurking around looking for leftover food to feed on, so they can grow. But are there ways to stop them? Your local dentist says there certainly are! Your best line of defense is your daily oral hygiene regimen, which should include flossing. Learn why it’s so important to use this simple method to hunt for harmful bacteria as you continue reading.
Isn’t Brushing My Teeth Good Enough?
A common misconception is that brushing your teeth will suffice for oral hygiene, but that is a dangerous assumption because studies show that it can only clean 60 percent of your teeth. That means that bacteria are left on one-third of the surface of your ivories.
Allowed to fester, different bacteria will then form a super structure called plaque. This is a combination of over 300 types of bacteria that combine to form this sticky, clear substance. And as it clings to your teeth and gums, it secretes acids that cause havoc. Unchecked, this plaque monster can morph into something even more hideous – tartar, a hard substance that furthers the agenda of oral destruction.
Thus, the thin and flexible nature of floss allows you to get into the hard-to-reach places to remove the debris that attract the bacteria and prevents these greater problems from developing.
How Often Should I Floss?
To get the maximum out of your efforts, you should be flossing after every session of brushing your teeth and at least twice a day. This is because bacteria never take a break; as long as there is food present, they will be on the scene.
Here are some technique tips to keep in mind:
- Start with about 18 inches of floss, and wind it around your middle finger, leaving an inch or two to work with.
- Hold the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, and slide it gently up and down, between your teeth.
- Also, imagine that you are forming the letter ‘C’ with your floss, as you maneuver it between your teeth to cover the most area and avoid cutting your gums.
- Always use a clean section of the floss before re-inserting between your teeth.
By brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, you are taking powerful and proactive steps toward better oral health. The last piece to the puzzle is the visit to your dentist semi-annually for checkups and cleanings. This will allow him to monitor your progress and address any minor issues before they become major.
So to schedule your initial visit, reach out today!
About the Author
A graduate of The Ohio State University, Dr. David Cleveland is highly trained in many aspects of dentistry. After earning his DDS, he went on to complete a one-year residency in Connecticut. Dr. Cleveland now brings a level of passion for helping his patients, skill level and expertise that puts a smile on the face of everyone he encounters. He practices at Darby Creek Dental and can be reached for more information through his website.