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Flossing: Do I Really Have To?

We all have busy lives and when you're rushing to get to work or can't wait to hit your pillow, flossing might seem impossible to fit in. If this sounds familiar, you might find it useful to change the way you think about flossing and learn about the positive effects it can have on your teeth so that you are more inclined to find the time for it.

Why Floss?

Most of us understand the need to brush our teeth twice daily to prevent the build up of plaque, and this is also the reason why we need to floss. When we eat, little particles of food can become trapped in our teeth and this can cause a build up of bacteria, which creates plaque. Toothbrushing removes some harmful deposits, but it can’t guarantee to completely clean the spaces in between our teeth, and this means problems can build up and attack our teeth over time.

Flossing, using thin floss or tape to clean between and around each tooth individually, is the best way to remove any bacteria or debris that could otherwise cause decay to set in and cavities to form.

Five Things You Need to Know About Flossing

  1. There are many types of dental floss, so if you’ve stopped flossing because it hurts, you may benefit from trying waxed floss, or tape, rather than floss, or even interdental brushes, which perform the same function.

  2. You should take care to avoid cutting your gums with dental floss by moving gently around each tooth and using a sawing motion to move the floss between teeth, rather than ‘snapping’ it into the gaps. Use your fingers to direct the floss in a ‘C’ shape, around the tooth and under, to where it joins the gum on both sides, using a clean piece of floss each time.

  3. The most important time of day to floss is in the evening, before or after brushing your teeth. Your teeth are most at risk overnight, when you are not opening and closing your mouth to talk or eat, as air is not circulating and so it is easier for bacteria to grow. Brushing and flossing last thing at night is the best way to promote oral hygiene.

  4. Flossing is great for your teeth but it’s also good for your general health. Statistics show that people who don’t floss have higher rates of periodontal diseases and also have more incidences of systemic diseases, such as cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, pneumonia and more.

  5. Always remember that flossing should not be painful. If you are flossing too hard, you could damage your gums and cause pain. Your Dental practice can help you to learn how to floss correctly, so that you remove all particles of food but do not damage the soft tissues of your mouth. It’s normal to feel some discomfort if you’ve just started flossing but once it’s part of your daily routine, pain should not persist beyond a week or two. Seek advice from a Dental professional if pain continues after this time.

Professional Dental Care With a Personal Touch

Your Dentist and Dental Hygienist can help you to take care of your teeth, including teaching you to floss your teeth correctly. If you’re looking for a friendly and experienced family dentist in Ballincollig, call the Guiney Dental Practice today on 021-481 0535.


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