Dental Flossing

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Regular brushing and flossing is vital to keeping your teeth and gums healthy, protecting you from disease and combating tooth decay. There are also a range of other products on the market which can help you to maintain your oral health including mouthwashes and tongue cleaners. You can also keep your mouth in tip top shape by maintaining a healthy diet, cutting down on sugary snacks and drinks and brushing and flossing regularly. If you smoke, then you should seriously consider quitting. Smoking can have a huge impact on your oral health and the nicotine can often leave brown deposits on your teeth which cause stains. As well as this, it is important to visit your dentist at least twice a year so that any potential problems can be spotted ahead of time and treated before they start causing you serious problems.

The reasons behind brushing are simple, to reduce the number of bacteria which lives in our mouths and causes problems. Millions of bacteria inhabit every part of your mouth and feed on food debris which remain on your teeth after you eat. As they feed and reproduce these bacteria create acidic by-products which attacks tooth enamel, creating cavities. If you let your oral hygiene slip, these bacteria can also release sulphur based compounds which can lead to bad breath. If you rely on brushing alone, the bacteria which live in between your teeth can flourish. Brushing without flossing could mean that you are missing out on cleaning up to 40% of your teeth.

Also, if you don't floss, the remaining plaque can harden into tartar which is much harder to remove with brushing and flossing alone. Tartar can encourage bacteria growth as it provides an ideal breeding ground. Once the bacteria levels grow to dangerous amounts, they may irritate or inflame your gums, a condition known as gingivitis. If left untreated it can lead to a periodontal disease. This is when the bacteria affects the supporting structures of your teeth and bones.

When to Floss

It is important to floss at least once a day and it is usually advised you do it after you brush your teeth. Flossing is correctly performed by wrapping the ends of the floss around your fingers, holding it tightly and then scraping it in between your teeth. This can often be of use when cleaning the hard to reach places where access with a toothbrush is limited. You should make sure to use a fresh piece of floss for each space. You can also try a range of alternative flosses including flavoured flosses, mini flossers, proximal brushes, waxed or unwaxed floss, floss 'tape', which slides easily between your teeth and even an electric flosser.

If you've not flossed in a while, don't be worried if you find a small tinge of blood on the floss after you use it. With regular brushing and flossing any gum inflammation that could be causing this should vanish.

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