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The Importance of Proper Flossing

Dr. Degel Jan 2, 2016

A man flossing his teethYou’ve heard it all before. Flossing is important for your oral health; dentists and the American Dental Association recommend flossing at least once every day. Yet still, you do not floss on a daily basis. You may think that dental professionals overemphasize the need for daily flossing, or you may feel that you already have great dental health and you don’t have enough time to floss. In some cases, patients simply don’t feel like it. Whatever your reason may be for failing to floss, Drs. Clifford Degel and Carmen Every-Degel urge you to re-examine your oral care routine and ensure that flossing is on the agenda every day. Flossing is a critical component of general dentistry care. In this blog post, we review the reasons why it is so important to floss, and we discuss proper flossing techniques. To learn more about the importance of flossing, contact Astoria Dental Group today.

Reasons Why You Should Floss Daily

Here are three important reasons why you should floss every day.

1. You Can Minimize Bad Breath

Flossing removes the plaque and bacteria that cause bad breath. Even if you brush your teeth several times a day, your toothbrush can’t reach the plaque located between your teeth and along the gum line. Floss can remove odorous food particles and bacteria that emit foul-smelling vapors.

2. You Reduce the Risk for Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

When plaque and bacteria remain on the teeth, between the teeth, or along the gum line, they increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. In addition to contributing to chronic bad breath, these conditions can actually result in tooth loss is left untreated. At the very least, they result in the need for restorative care such as fillings or root planing and scaling.

3. Plaque Is Easier to Remove

If plaque is left on the teeth for longer than 24 hours, it hardens into a substance called tartar or calculus. This substance is much more difficult to remove. In fact, no amount of brushing or flossing will remove tartar. Instead, professional dental tools such as scrapers, ultrasonic tools, or laser tools must be used to remove tartar. By maintaining a daily flossing regimen, you can remove plaque before it hardens.

Proper Flossing Techniques

It is not enough to floss daily. Patients must also perform proper flossing techniques to thoroughly remove plaque. When flossing, be sure to:

  • Run the floss along the side of each tooth, well down into the gum line, to remove all built up plaque.
  • Keep working between the teeth until the floss comes out clean. If you have debris on the floss, go back and clean the same area again.
  • Pay special attention to the back teeth, which are harder to clean and more likely to be affected by plaque.
  • During your next dental visit, ask where plaque and tartar have accumulated. These are the areas that need more attention when you floss.

To schedule your next dental appointment, contact Astoria Dental Group today.

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