Flossing and Your Oral Health
By O'NEILL FAMILY DENTISTRY
June 08, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Flossing  

While flossing just takes just a couple of minutes per day, you may be wondering if you're spending your time wisely. In Columbia, SC, your dentist, Dr. Kris O'Neill, assures you that flossing is well-worth it. After all, flossing battles the plaque and bacteria that can damage your smile.

Food particles and bacteria

While unpleasant to think about, bacteria can lead to big problems like dental decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that a full 50 percent of American adults over the age of 30 have gum disease. This is especially concerning given that gum disease also impacts your overall health, as it's been linked to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, dementia, and more.

Brush and floss

The American Dental Association (ADA) maintains that daily brushing and flossing are the best weapons against gum disease and decay. They remove bacteria-laden plaque when applied every day.

Brush two times a day for two minutes, carefully cleaning all tooth surfaces. For in between your teeth and at the gum line, where plaque can hide, floss once a day. Most people who floss have few to no signs of gum disease (i.e. gingival bleeding, puffiness, tenderness, and loose teeth).

Your Columbia, SC, dentist and her team highly recommend flossing daily. Your hygienist will show you ways to improve your flossing routine at home. Common recommendations include:

  1. Using a floss product that you can easily manipulate. Strand floss may not be the right choice for an adult with dexterity issues. A water flosser or interproximal brushes are simpler to handle and both are just as effective as regular floss.
     
  2. Flossing gently. Do not snap strand floss against your gums. Instead, insert it carefully between your teeth, carefully sweeping it up and down. Flossing should never cause pain.
     
  3. Remembering to floss your back teeth. Molars are cavity-prone because of their chewing surfaces and so need extra care.

Finally, see Dr. O'Neill every six months for a cleaning and check-up. No matter how well you floss and brush—or how good your diet is—you still need in-office preventive care. O'Neill Family Dentistry provides treatment plans suited to your unique oral health needs.

Have your best oral health

You can enjoy a fabulous, healthy smile when you include flossing in your daily oral care routine. To improve your flossing technique, talk to your friendly hygienist or dentist, Dr. Kris O'Neill of O'Neill Family Dentistry in Columbia, SC. Call today for an appointment: (803) 988-1070.

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