The health of your mouth is important to you, which is why you take the time to brush your teeth twice a day. Although your toothbrush is necessary for keeping your teeth and gums healthy, it is only half of the care you need. You also need to floss your teeth every day. If you are not, you will likely receive some unexpected news at your next appointment with your dentist in Queens.
Even with the best brushing methods, there are still areas in your mouth where your toothbrush cannot reach, like in between the teeth and around the gum line. The only way to clean the areas is with dental floss. If you do not, you are leaving as much as 40% of your teeth’s surfaces uncleaned, allowing plaque and tartar to accumulate.
Bacteria thrive in the accumulations, which can cause an infection known as gum disease. While it is preventable, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates as much as 50% of adults in the United States have a form of it.
Over time, the infection will begin to destroy the supporting structures for your teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss; however, this is not the only risk. Your mouth is the gateway to your general health. As a result, the bacteria responsible for the infection can enter the bloodstream.
As the bacteria circulate throughout your body, it causes it to respond with inflammation. This increases your risk for heart disease, pulmonary infections, diabetic complications, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
To protect your mouth and body, it is best to take the time to floss every night before going to bed.
If you are among the 60% of adults who do not floss daily, there is no better time than now to recommit to your oral hygiene. When choosing a dental floss, look for one that has the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. This means that it has been tested for safety and effectiveness when used correctly
In addition, it is best to choose a natural floss that does not contain any chemicals or waxes. Choose one that is soft and flexible to avoid causing irritation to the gum tissue.
After you have found the perfect one, use about 18 inches of floss to clean in between each tooth. Gently insert it between two teeth to form a “C” shape around a tooth. Then, slide it from the crown to the gum line and back up again. Repeat this process for each tooth.
If you are not flossing your teeth regularly, now is the time to invest in your oral and general health by adding it to your routine. In addition to your home oral hygiene habits, do not forget to visit your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.
Dr. Richard J. Gochman provides comprehensive dental care to the community. In addition to his general dentistry degree, he has completed further training in many areas of specialty. If you are living with gum disease, he offers the solutions you need to restore your oral health. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation.