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Norge Dental Center Blog

Do I Really Need To Floss?

Do I Really Need To Floss? We’ve seen them all—flossing devotees, flossing doubters, flossing drop-outs, and even flossing haters. Where do you fall? Maybe you already have a great brushing routine (hint: twice a day for at least two minutes with fluoride toothpaste), but your flossing game is weak. Or perhaps, you just don’t love the feeling of waxy string between your teeth. We get it. While flossing your teeth might not be your favorite activity, we’re here to tell you that yes, it is important. The jury’s still out on just how essential flossing is to your overall oral and physical health, but there’s no denying that flossing is a beneficial part of a healthy oral hygiene routine. Why Floss If you think about it, brushing your teeth only polishes the wide, flat sections of your teeth that you can see. Without flossing, the inside edges of your teeth never really get a good scrubbing. Think of floss as a way to brush away plaque and food particles from the areas where your toothbrush can’t reach. Besides that minty-fresh feeling of a freshly flossed smile, there are also many health benefits of regular flossing. For one, flossing helps to prevent cavities. If not removed, plaque and food between the teeth can release an acid that slowly breaks down your enamel. Flossing also prevents gingivitis, which is characterized by swollen, irritated gums that bleed easily. If you’ve ever wondered why your dental hygienist knows you don’t floss, your bleeding gums might just be giving you away. If gingivitis is not addressed, it can ultimately turn into gum disease—a serious condition that also affects the heart and cardiovascular system. Better to floss now than deal with gum disease later. Should I Floss or Brush First? There are a number of different theories about the best time to floss. Ultimately, it’s more important that you develop a flossing habit than when you do it. Try to find a time that works best for you. Maybe you’re not a morning person, so it’s harder for you to remember to floss in the morning. That’s okay! Embrace a nighttime flossing routine. Alternatively, maybe flossing after you brush your teeth in the morning provides just the sense of accomplishment you need to start your day. Whether you’re a morning flosser or an evening flosser; a before-brushing flosser or an after-brushing flosser, the essential thing is that you are a flosser! Flossing Alternatives Most dentists agree that traditional dental floss does the best job cleaning between teeth and preventing cavities and disease. Not a fan of plain old dental floss? Luckily, there are many safe alternatives to the white, minty dental floss you’ll find at our office. For example, many of our patients love using easy-to-hold, disposable flossers. These can make it less difficult to maneuver the floss in and out of the tight spaces between your teeth. You can also find an array of different flavors beyond the standard mint that might make your flossing routine a bit more enjoyable. For folks that have a hard time reaching their back teeth or handling a strand of floss, a water pick might be a helpful alternative. Still, flossing is your best and most effective choice. If you’re not sure how to choose the best option for your dental health, it’s always a good idea to ask your dentist. Everyone has unique needs, so your dentist can provide a recommendation tailored to you. Speaking of the dentist, when was the last time you stopped by to see us for a visit? We recommend scheduling a dental exam twice each year for optimal oral health. If you’re still looking for a dentist in the Williamsburg, VA area, we’d love to meet you for the first time.
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