Floss With Confidence!
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Does flossing cause Gum Disease and Gingivitis?
Recent discussions about the importance of flossing have focused on whether this is a useful practice. The chief issue brought up by naysayers is that flossing can spread bacteria and toxins from one area of the gums to the other. The spread of bacteria throughout the mouth is a factor in gum disease and gingivitis.
What Dentist Agree On
Dentists agree that making flossing a daily part of your oral care routine is an important way to avoid plaque buildup between teeth and to fight cavities and gum disease. Flossing twice a day between each tooth and along the gumline removes food particles from the mouth.
Bacteria need a food source, and the best food source is the leftover food in your mouth after meals. A toothbrush can’t get to those hard-to-reach places between teeth like dental floss. The combination of flossing and brushing your teeth and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash is the best way to reduce bacterial buildup.
How’s your flossing technique?
The fact is flossing is simply better than not flossing at all. However, a proper flossing technique is the key to avoiding the spread of bacteria.
To begin flossing, tear off about 18 inches of floss and roll it around your index fingers on both hands like a spool. Gently glide the floss in a zig-zag motion back and forth between each tooth from the top of the tooth to hug the gum line on the side of the tooth. As you go from tooth to tooth, unroll a clean section of dental floss.
Should you floss before or after brushing teeth?
This is a common question asked by patients at our East Charlotte dental practice. The answer is, floss first. When you finish with the dental floss strips toss them in the trash. Brush with a fluoride toothpaste. Lastly, rinse with a mouthwash or water to remove any remaining food particles or plaque.
A combination of brushing, flossing, and rising allows you to touch all areas of the mouth and reduce the bacteria in your mouth.