Everybody knows that brushing your teeth is an important part of daily oral hygiene. However, brushing is not the only thing you can do every day for your teeth. You can add flossing to your oral hygiene routine too.

Flossing is an inexpensive and effective way to help maintain your oral health. Here are some things to know about flossing and why it’s good for your oral health.

Flossing: Things To Know

According to the American Dental Association, flossing should be done once a day, and you can do it anytime you like. It also doesn’t matter if you brush your teeth before or after flossing as long as you don’t skip it.

Here are other things to know about flossing: 

1. You’re not just removing food particles with floss.

Many people believe flossing is only for removing food particles stuck between teeth. Flossing does more than that; it also removes plaque between the teeth and the gum line, preventing gum disease and infections.

2. Flossing stimulates saliva production.

Another important aspect of flossing is its ability to stimulate saliva production. Flossing requires you to open your mouth for a while, which stimulates the salivary glands to produce saliva.

Everyone knows what saliva is, but not why it’s so important. Aside from helping you break down your food and keeping the inside of your mouth moist, saliva is also your teeth’s natural defense against tooth decay. It contains bicarbonate, calcium, and phosphate, which can counteract the effects of acids produced by bacteria in your mouth. These compounds are also essential for teeth enamel repair.

3. Flossing freshens your breath.

It’s embarrassing to have bad breath, affecting your confidence and self-esteem. Flossing is one way to get rid of it easily.

Bacteria in the mouth is the primary cause of bad breath. Flossing gets rid of these bacteria along with the food particles and other substances that can cause bad breath.

4. Flossing benefits your overall health.

Flossing also benefits your overall health, not just your teeth. Your mouth is connected to the rest of your body; therefore, it’s only natural to keep it healthy and clean to avoid bacteria buildup.

Once bacteria builds up and enters your bloodstream through an infected gum or a cavity, it can spread to other parts of your body and cause inflammation. It may also increase your risk of developing heart disease or other respiratory problems.

5. Flossing is for everyone.

Many people believe flossing is only for those with braces and people who have gaps between their teeth. This is untrue; anyone can floss. You also have different choices in what floss to use. Consult your dentist for a recommendation.

How to Floss Correctly

Flossing will only be effective if it’s correctly done. Here’s a guide to help you floss the right way:

  1. First, cut off 18 inches of floss, then wind each end around your middle fingers.
  2. Pull the floss tight between your thumbs and forefingers.
  3. Gently slide the floss between your teeth; never slide the floss into your gums.
  4. Pull it into a C shape against a tooth when you reach the gum line. Gently slide it between your tooth and gums.
  5. Hold the floss tight against the tooth, then gently rub it against the tooth using up and down motions. 

Continue doing these until you reach the back of your last tooth. Always use fresh floss; used floss won’t be as effective and will only put bacteria back into your mouth.

Types of Floss

You have two types of floss to choose from, multifilament or single filament. Multifilament or nylon floss comes in waxed or unwaxed versions and is available in many flavors. It is made of multiple nylon strands that might rip or get shredded in tight contact points between teeth.

On the other hand, single filament floss is more expensive, but it can easily slide between teeth and tight spaces. It is also resistant to shredding. 

Whichever you choose, both will help remove plaque and food debris if they are properly used. You can also use floss picks or water flossing if regular floss is difficult to use.

Pain after Flossing

You can expect some irritation and pain if it’s been a while since you last flossed. If you feel pain after flossing, it could be a sign that something is wrong with your technique or that you have a dental problem you’re unaware of.

No matter what reason, it’s best to consult a Durango dentist

Key Takeaway

Flossing is a great addition to your oral health care routine. Aside from removing food particles trapped between teeth, flossing also removes plaque and stimulates saliva production. It also helps freshen your breath and protects the rest of your body from the spread of bacteria. Flossing is also for everyone, not just for people with braces or large teeth gaps.

Learning how to floss properly is essential; otherwise, you’ll only be damaging your gums. You may also feel pain if it’s been a while since you last flossed. If you still have concerns, you can consult a dentist about flossing and get some tips on floss ing properly.