Have you heard conflicting information about whether flossing actually benefits your gums? Somehow, the myth that it isn’t helpful has taken hold (much to the horror of dentists everywhere) and patients are questioning the advice they’ve always heard to floss once a day. After all, why put any effort into flossing if it isn’t doing anything? In this blog, you’ll learn the truth about why flossing is so worthwhile from a dentist in Lakeway. But first, you’ll find out why gum health matters and what causes gum problems in the first place. That’s the best way to understand why flossing is a necessary part of any hygiene routine – keep reading to learn more!
Many patients only think about their teeth and whether they have cavities or not. But your gums are just as important to your oral health.
That’s because your gums keep your teeth stable and solid in their sockets. In advanced stages of gum disease, your teeth can become loose and fall out – even if they’re healthy teeth that have never had a cavity!
There are several risk factors for gum disease, including genetics, age, diabetes and smoking. However, the main underlying cause of gum problems is plaque and tartar, which are both made of bacteria.
As you know, bacteria are responsible for infections and inflammation in every area of the body. For example, if you cut your arm and don’t clean it thoroughly, it won’t heal very well. But if you can keep it clean (i.e. reduce the bacteria) and apply an antibiotic ointment, it heals much faster.
Your gums are similar! In order to be healthy and free from inflammation, they must be clean first. And brushing only gets part of the job done!
Plaque is a sticky film that clings to every surface of your teeth, including under your gumline. No matter how well you brush, your toothbrush bristles only reach about 2/3 of the surface area of your teeth.
That means that you’re leaving behind a full 1/3 of the plaque and bacteria that cause inflammation and, ultimately, gum disease. The good news is that floss can reach the remaining areas under the gumline and between your teeth to remove sticky plaque left behind!
When it comes to the best way to floss, don’t hesitate to ask a family dentist in Lakeway for tips and tricks. In many cases, seeing a simple demonstration is the best way to become a better flosser!
About the Author
Dr. Daniel Eaddy firmly believes that the foundation of a healthy, beautiful smile is gum health. That’s why he makes sure his patients understand the causes of gum disease and the measures they can take to keep their gums healthy, including flossing. If you have any questions, he can be contacted via his website or at (512) 263-4252.