Flossing your teeth is an important part of maintaining good oral hygiene, yet many people neglect this simple task. In fact, according to the American Dental Association, only about half of Americans floss daily, and 20% never floss at all. Flossing is a simple and effective way to remove food particles and plaque from between teeth, which can prevent gum disease and cavities. Here are some important reasons why you should floss your teeth daily.
Prevent Gum Disease
When you eat, small particles of food and bacteria can get trapped between your teeth and gums. Over time, these particles can build up and form plaque, which can lead to gum disease. Gum disease is a serious condition that can cause inflammation, bleeding, and even tooth loss. Flossing can help remove these particles and prevent the buildup of plaque, which can reduce your risk of gum disease.
When plaque is allowed to build up on your teeth, it can also lead to cavities. Cavities occur when the bacteria in plaque produce acid that eats away at your tooth enamel. This can cause small holes in your teeth, which can be painful and require costly dental work to fix. By flossing daily, you can remove the plaque from between your teeth and prevent cavities from forming.
Improve Bad Breath
Food particles and bacteria that are trapped between your teeth can also cause bad breath. By flossing daily, you can remove these particles and bacteria, which can help improve your breath. This is especially important if you suffer from chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis.
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How to Floss
Flossing is a simple and straightforward process. Here’s how to do it properly:
1. Start with a piece of floss that is about 18 inches long. Wrap the ends around your fingers, leaving about 1-2 inches of floss to work with.
2. Gently slide the floss between your teeth, using a back-and-forth motion. Be careful not to snap the floss, which can be painful.
3. Curve the floss around each tooth in a “C” shape, gently rubbing it up and down against the tooth and under the gumline.
4. Use a clean section of floss for each tooth, so that you are not transferring bacteria from one tooth to another.
Flossing your teeth is an important part of maintaining good oral hygiene. By removing food particles and plaque from between your teeth, you can prevent gum disease, cavities, and bad breath. Flossing is easy to do and takes just a few minutes each day. So, next time you brush your teeth, take the extra few minutes to floss as well. Your teeth and gums will thank you!