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Our team at Meridian South Family Dentistry cares about our patients. We treat you with respect, honesty, integrity & compassion. It is recommended to brush your teeth twice a day, but don’t forget about flossing. It’s something we ask during each checkup. “Have you been flossing regularly?” The American Dental Association recommends to brush your teeth twice a day AND to floss once a day (source: ADA). Flossing cleans many of the spaces between the teeth and gums. Your toothbrush can only clean what it can get to, mainly the outer surface of the tooth and gums. Still not convinced?
Brushing alone will not remove buildup from below the gum line, only flossing can help to remove this sub-gingival plaque. Yet flossing alone cannot remove plaque on many areas of the teeth, only brushing can help with this removal. Together, build up like plaque can be removed by the use of both brushing and flossing and regular dental checkups.
Often bacteria, plaque and food particles build up at the base of teeth, in between the teeth or below the gums. Regular flossing in a back and forth motion helps to remove this debris leading to healthier gums. Decreasing the possibility of swollen, bleeding or irritated gingival from buildup in the mouth that is not intended to be left in place.
Plaque, bacteria and food particles that remain under the gingival without proper removal can lead to a lifelong disease known as Periodontal Disease. Although there are many contributing factors that can lead to a periodontal diagnosis we know that proper home care and regular dental checkups greatly decrease the chances of having periodontal related issues. Typically, this disease requires more frequent dental cleanings as bacteria that isn’t properly removed can enter the bloodstream and directly affect the entire body, including the heart.
Pull out about 18 inches of floss, wrapping the ends around your fingertips for better control. Gently slide the floss between your teeth, being careful not to jam it into your sensitive gums. Curve the floss around each tooth and rub it up and down to scrape away plaque. Avoid sawing motions with the floss — that can hurt your gums. When you’re done, throw away the used floss. It can fray during use and collect bacteria. Rinse with mouthwash and brush your teeth [source: ADA].