If you read health news on a regular basis, you may have come across articles suggesting that flossing isn’t necessary. At Harley Street Dental Studio, we believe that anything that has benefits for your oral health is worth doing, and this is why we strongly recommend including flossing in your dental hygiene regime. While flossing should never replace brushing, it definitely provides benefits for your teeth and gums, so don’t overlook its importance.
Flossing is important because it’s virtually impossible to clean your whole mouth with a toothbrush. When you brush, you can remove bacteria and food debris from the surfaces of your teeth, but there are areas that you can’t reach. It can be tricky to clean along the gum line and to remove bacteria and bits of food from the gaps between the teeth, for example. This is where flossing comes in handy. When you floss, you can target the places you miss with a brush, achieving a much deeper clean.
It’s essential to keep your mouth as clean as possible to reduce the risk of plaque formation. Plaque is a sticky substance, which clings to your gums and the surfaces of your teeth. It forms when saliva combines with bacteria and food debris. The bacteria in plaque release acids when they feed, and this causes acid erosion of the enamel and irritation of the gums. If you floss and brush, your risk of developing decay and gum disease will be reduced significantly.
You don’t have to floss every time you brush, but daily flossing is recommended. When you floss, take a new piece of tape each time, and gently guide the floss through the cracks between the teeth. Don’t tug or pull, as this can harm your gums. You may find that your gums bleed slightly when you floss the first couple of times; however, bleeding should not be a regular side-effect. If you do notice that your gums are bleeding when you brush or floss, call us and make an appointment. Bleeding gums can be a symptom of gum disease. If you need flossing tips or advice about oral hygiene, our dental team will be happy to help.
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