In November of 2000, the National Flossing Council created National Flossing Day to educate patients about the importance of keeping teeth and gums in pristine condition. Occurring annually the day after Thanksgiving, it’s a fantastic way to give thanks to our teeth for helping us enjoy such delicious food.
Why is Flossing Important?
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends flossing between teeth at least once a day for good oral health. Flossing helps in the removal of plaque from teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria and saliva that collects below the gum line and can harden into tartar over time. By not practicing good oral hygiene, such as flossing and brushing, bacteria can cause inflammation known as periodontal disease. This disease causes receding gums, tooth decay and possible tooth loss.
Benefits of Flossing
Daily flossing helps decrease the amount of food particles and debris left in the mouth. In turn, this helps decrease plaque build-up that can cause tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease.
- Prevents tooth decay: When plaque build-up occurs, it can damage tooth enamel which weakens teeth and causes tooth decay. Flossing and proper dental maintenance can help prevent plaque build-up and keep teeth strong.
- Prevents bad breath: Food consumed throughout the day leaves particles and debris between teeth which eventually deteriorates and causes a bad odor. Similar to leaving leftovers in the fridge for too long – eventually they’ll grow mold and produce a disgusting odor. Flossing helps remove trapped debris from between teeth leaving the mouth fresh.
- Prevents gum disease: When plaque builds up, collects around the teeth and is not removed it is considered tartar. Tartar is one of the leading causes of gum disease. Daily flossing decreases the amount of plaque build-up on the teeth, therefore helping gums stay healthy.
Should I Floss Before or After Brushing?
If it’s a thorough job, flossing can occur either before or after brushing. Find a time of day that suits you best, utilize the simple flossing tips below, and get to flossing!
Simple Flossing Tips
- Wash hands before flossing
- Use approximately 18 inches of dental floss
- A gentle up and down motion to clean between teeth is best
- Use a new section of floss between each tooth
- 1 minute a day keeps the Doctor away
- For tightly spaced teeth stick to waxed floss
- Focus on the front and back teeth
- Don’t use foreign objects to floss teeth
On National Flossing Day and beyond, let floss be a tool in your oral health arsenal. In addition, keep brushing and contact us for your regular teeth cleaning and comprehensive dental exam. To schedule an appointment, contact your nearest Roseman Dental location.
Roseman Dental & Orthodontic Clinic – Henderson, NV: 702-968-5222
Roseman Dental – South Jordan, UT: 801-878-1200