Flossing is one of the basic and most common recommendations dentists give to their patients. While some question the effectiveness of this advice and wonder if flossing is really necessary, it remains a useful part of your oral hygiene routine. In this article, we explain why flossing is good for your oral health. And we answer: is flossing really necessary?

Is Flossing Really Necessary?

Dental Health and Gum Disease

There is a lot of bacteria in your mouth at any given moment. Some of them are good and help to support your oral health, while others are not so good. Harmful bacteria left in your mouth for too long can cause many different problems. First of all, not cleaning your mouth sufficiently leads to plaque and tartar buildup. This, in turn, can cause periodontal disease, tooth decay, root canal infections, and gum disease. Having weak and inflamed gums can even result in tooth loss.

Needless to say all, these problems can cause a lot of discomfort and pain. On top of that, treating the problem is much more expensive and time-consuming than preventing it. So, it is crucial to maintain proper oral hygiene if you want to avoid these issues. It is also important to get regular checkups with your periodontist to get the necessary advice and help in time.

The Importance of Flossing for Oral Hygiene

Flossing is an important step in your oral hygiene routine because it helps get rid of food particles that can be hard to remove with just a toothbrush. If food particles are left in between your teeth for too long, they can start to rot and cause a rapid growth of unhealthy bacteria in your mouth. Also, plaque starts to build up if your teeth are not cleaned sufficiently. Then it hardens and forms tartar. Both plaque and tartar are very conducive environments for harmful bacteria. This leads to swelling and inflammation of the gums and eventually to gum disease.

Of course, the first step is to brush your teeth properly—it tends to remove most of the food particles and bacteria. Unfortunately, a toothbrush sometimes can not reach all the spots in your mouth, like in between your teeth, for example. Flossing can reach these spots more effectively, removing all the build-up and bacteria with it.

How Often Should You Floss?

In most cases, it is enough to floss once a day. It is preferable to floss as a part of your evening hygiene routine. This ensures that no bacteria is left in your mouth at night while you sleep, as it is the most conducive time for harmful bacteria to thrive in your mouth. If you prefer to floss twice a day, it is also fine and not going to hurt you.

How to Floss Properly

If you feel that flossing causes pain or makes your gums bleed, it can be a sign that you push the flossing thread down too hard. To avoid gum irritation, it is better to floss gently and be careful not to hurt your gums in the process. If the bleeding is still an issue, it is best to visit a periodontist and to check the health of your gums. Bleeding and increased sensitivity can be a sign of gum disease.

Oral Irrigator vs Dental Floss

An oral irrigator or water flosser is a device that helps you clean your teeth by sending a stream of water at them. It can help clean areas that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. A water flosser can be a good option for people who find it uncomfortable to use dental floss. It is also convenient for people who wear braces.

However, flossing may still be a more effective way to remove all the lingering food particles, bacteria, and plaque, especially from in between your teeth. An oral irrigator can be used before or after brushing and flossing. It also can be effective for removing plaque along the gumline.

Having good oral health is extremely important for the overall health of your body. Oral diseases are not only a problem on their own. They can also make patients more vulnerable to diabetes, cerebrovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease.

Flossing regularly is necessary to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Paired with proper brushing, it can help you maintain good oral hygiene. Remember to have regular checkups with your dentist, too, for deeper cleanings and other preventative treatments. Sign up for your appointment at LA Wilshire Perio and get an in-depth, personalized consultation of your oral health.


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