Are you a flossing family? In my years of dental practice, I’ve noticed that some families floss while others do not. I want to encourage you and each member of your family to floss at least once a day. As a dentist in Leesburg, I am committed to helping you enjoy the best oral and general health possible. Flossing is a way to improve both.
Flossing is Not About the Food Stuck Between Teeth
If you always thought that flossing was important in order to remove food trapped between teeth after you eat, then you only get half credit. That thin stretch of floss can be very helpful when an irritating particle is stuck. However, the real benefit of flossing is that it removes plaque.
Plaque is a clear biofilm that builds up on our teeth every day. If not removed, the bacteria in plaque can lead to a whole host of problems. Chief among them is gum disease, a bacterial infection that is initially marked by swollen and bleeding gums. Left untreated, the disease could advance, eventually destroying gums and the supporting bone structure underneath. In fact, gum disease is the leading reason behind tooth loss among American adults.
The Oral-Systemic Connection
If gum disease only affected your oral health, then that would be serious enough. However, gum disease has been linked to a number of systemic diseases and illnesses. In fact, CBSNews.com reported that flossing might add up to 6.4 years to your life expectancy!
Why? Because flossing reduces the incidence of gum disease. And gum disease has been linked to a number of diseases and illnesses including:
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Disease
But I Don’t Have Time to Floss
Yes, you do. Flossing should not take more than two minutes. If you’re too rushed in the morning, then floss at night. If you’re too tired at night, then floss in the morning.
When you floss, be sure to use about 18 inches. This way, you’ll be able to place a clean section in between each pair of teeth. Move the floss gently up and down and back and forth. Don’t press down hard against your gums, but do floss below the gum line.
When you have an appointment for a dental checkup, we’ll also floss your teeth. If you have any questions about your own flossing or another part of your oral hygiene routine at home, I’ll be glad to answer your questions. Call the office today to schedule a visit.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. David Groy is a Leesburg dentist. He and his team of dental hygienists take care of smiles of all ages with preventive dentistry, cosmetic treatments, and restorative care. Call today for an appointment.