Any dentist will stress that although it is important to visit your doctor regularly, daily dental hygiene is a crucial part of maintaining dental health.
Most individuals will brush their teeth twice a day and leave their daily routine at that. In the busy world that we live in, it is understandable that you may feel that you do not have more time in your day for a more extensive routine.
However, you would be surprised how much of an improvement to your dental health you could make by introducing one new activity: flossing.
Flossing is essentially placing a soft thread between your teeth in a c-shape and moving the thread in a push/pull motion. It is simple, not much work and has huge benefits in the long run.
Firstly, flossing gets to the plaque between your teeth, which prevents cavities forming in these areas. Cavities form when the bacteria in plaque eats through the enamel of a tooth, creating a hole in the tooth that can lead to sensitivity and structural damage.
Furthermore, getting rid of plaque reduces your chance of developing the gum disease, gingivitis, which causes your gums to become inflamed and bleed. Preventing gum disease also stops a series of other health issues, such as respiratory diseases, which can be caused by bacteria in the mouth affecting the lungs and other areas of the body.
What about my toothbrush?
One might think that your toothbrush should be able to reach in between your teeth and do the same job as flossing, but unfortunately toothbrush bristles just do not do the job as efficiently as floss. Besides, no one wants to risk having food still stuck in their teeth from the night before. Floss makes sure you always have a clean smile and reduces the risk of bad breath.
All you need to do is floss before you brush at least once a day. It is important to floss before you brush as flossing dislodges all the bacteria from between your teeth, while brushing for the recommended two minutes and rinsing will remove all the bacteria from your mouth.
According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2016, 32.4 % of American adults over the age of 30 never floss; 37.3 % floss but not everyday; and 30.3 % floss on a daily basis. This research showed that more men failed to floss when compared to women and low-income participants are less likely to floss than those in higher income brackets.
These statistics give us insight into why the Center of Disease Control finds a high prevalence of gum diseases in America, especially in the Southern States.