Flossing--it's such a bother, or is it really? The fact is that flossing, combined with twice daily brushing, spares your oral health and your systemic health, too. Taking just a couple of minutes, flossing removes harmful plaque and prevents accumulation of hard tartar. Paired with hygienic cleanings every six months at Stiles Family Dentistry, flossing keeps your smile beautiful, healthy and strong. Learn the details from your Salem, NH, dentists, Dr. Nicholas Papapetros, Dr. Jhon Giraldo and Dr. Paul Masterson.
What flossing does
It prevents an infection called gum disease. Both mild gingivitis, with its bad breath and bleeding gums, and advanced periodontitis, with its bone and gum deterioration and tooth mobility, lead to tooth loss when left untreated.
However, when people floss daily and brush twice a day, according to American Dental Association guidelines, the chances of gum disease (and its related health issues) and tooth decay are greatly reduced.
The who's and how's of flossing
Everyone should floss--even toddlers. Of course, at that young age, parents actually do the flossing for their children. However, as youngsters grow, they have sufficient discipline and dexterity to do it themselves. Most children can be independent flossers around age 10, says the American Dental Association.
Regarding how to floss, remember that consistency is important. Floss every day--either in the morning or at bedtime. People with metal braces have to floss more frequently and diligently.
So, if you have not been flossing, don't despair. Just start now. Pick a flossing product you like and will use faithfully. Water flossing devices and interdental brushes work well, too. If you select traditional strands of plain, waxed or flavored floss, here's how to use it:
- Remove an 18-inch strand from the spool and wind the opposite ends around your index fingers.
- Pull the strand taut using your index fingers and thumbs.
- Gently insert the floss between your two front teeth, and making a C-shape with the floss, move it up and down.
- Wind the used floss around one index finger, and insert a clean section in between the next two teeth.
- Proceed around the top arch and then the bottom until you have completed your entire mouth.
Stay with flossing. The more regularly you do it, the easier it will become.
Say goodbye to plaque in Salem
And, say hello to a healthy smile with daily flossing. For more tips on oral hygiene, ask your hygienist at Stiles Family Dentistry in Salem, NH. Please contact the office to schedule your next professional cleaning: (603) 893-4538.