The Importance of Flossing
Are you a forgetful flosser? You're not alone. Only 30 percent of us floss every day, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Unfortunately, if you don't floss regularly, you may raise your risk of developing cavities or gum disease. Redford, MI, dentist Dr. Laurie Mulka explains why it's important to make flossing a daily habit.
What does flossing really do?
Flossing offers several important benefits, including:
- Removing Plaque: Daily flossing removes plaque from the areas between teeth. Plaque, a sticky bacterial film, is responsible for tooth decay.
- Decreasing Your Gum Disease Risk: Plaque eventually turns into tartar, a hard deposit that you can actually see. If you have tartar deposits, you'll notice dark yellow or brown spots on your teeth. When tartar forms near your gums, it irritates them and can cause gum disease. If not treated promptly, gum disease can cause tooth loss. Flossing eliminates plaque, preventing it from ever turning into tartar.
- Freeing Trapped Food Particles: You can't always feel small pieces of food that stick to your teeth. Although brushing removes food debris on the surface of your teeth, flossing is the only way to get rid of the particles between your teeth. Cavities form when the sugars in foods interact with plaque to create acids. The longer food particles remain between your teeth, the higher your risk of cavities.
- Better Breath: Food stuck between your teeth can produce a very unpleasant odor. Flossing ensures that your breath is as fresh as possible.
What kind of floss should I use?
The type of floss you use depends on your personal preferences. As long as you floss daily, you'll improve your oral hygiene. People with closely spaced teeth often prefer the type of floss that looks like string, while those with widely spaced teeth may find flossing tape more comfortable. No matter what type of floss you prefer, use gentle pressure when you move the floss back and forth between teeth. If you have trouble reaching your back teeth, look for small flossing picks, interdental brushes or water-based flossing systems at Redford area stores.
Daily flossing and regular dental visits will help you maintain your sparkling smile. Call Redford, MI, dentist Dr. Laurie Mulka at (313) 937-1520 to schedule an appointment.