Loss of teeth, bad breath, and bleeding gums are among the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease. It can, however, start without any noticeable symptoms. When left untreated or undiagnosed, you could end up causing irreversible damage to your teeth and gums. Fortunately, preventing periodontal disease is possible. In fact, one of the most effective ways only takes a few minutes every day.
The Power of Floss
Since dental floss is easy to use and effective, it can be one of the best defenses against periodontal disease. The buildup of plaque and bacteria between your teeth contributes to periodontal disease. In addition to brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes, you should also floss every day. Dental floss allows you to reach areas that a toothbrush cannot. Food, debris, and sugar get caught in the gaps and tight spaces between teeth throughout the day. Flossing helps to remove these items from hard-to-reach places. If flossing is a difficult task for you, our dental office can offer solutions.
According to a survey by the American Dental Association, only 40% of Americans floss every day. Likewise, the study found a direct correlation between regular intra-oral care and improved dental health. However, many people do not brush and floss as frequently as they should. In a study conducted by the American Academy of Periodontology, 27% of adults were not honest about their flossing habits when asked by their dentist. Even though you do not have to floss every time you brush your teeth, you should make it a habit to floss at least once a day.
How to Floss Properly
It can be confusing to know how to properly use dental floss. Take about 18 inches of floss and keep it taught between your thumb and index finger. Use about one inch of floss to clean between your teeth. Place the dental floss in between two teeth. Slide the floss up and down between your teeth, rubbing it against both sides. It’s important not to glide the floss into your gums. This might cause your gums to bruise or scratch. Take a fresh piece of floss between each pair of adjacent teeth as you make your way through the 18 inches of floss.
A few minutes of flossing each day can contribute to a lifetime of good oral health. It is one of the best ways for you to keep your gums healthy and prevent tooth decay from forming between your teeth. Floss regularly—your gums will be grateful.
Make sure you visit your dentist in West Columbia two times each year to have your teeth cleaned and examined. Please contact our dental office in West Columbia, SC today to schedule an appointment.