When patients come for an examination at Complete Dental Health, one question they are sure to be asked is “Are you flossing regularly?”. Dr. Luis Gomez and the team believe strongly that prevention is better than cure where dental health is concerned, and research has shown that regular flossing is the best way to prevent gum disease and other potential dental health problems.
A toothbrush cannot reach into the spaces between the teeth, so flossing should be an integral part of your daily oral hygiene routine. Plaque, a sticky film made up of bacteria and food particles, accumulates on the surfaces of the teeth and in the small gaps where the teeth join the gums. If plaque is not removed regularly it will solidify into tartar and cause inflammation of the gums, known as gingivitis. Signs of gingivitis include red, swollen and bleeding gums. Patients may also notice a bad taste in their mouth that is caused by pus draining from pockets of inflammation. This sounds unpleasant and can have serious medical consequences; untreated gum disease is the leading cause of tooth and bone loss amongst adults in the USA. Researchers also link the bacteria that grow in an unhealthy mouth with systemic illnesses such as coronary heart disease and diabetes.
Some people are reluctant to floss as it makes their gums bleed. Bleeding is a sign of infection so continuing to floss is even more important. If you persevere, the bleeding will decrease. To floss effectively, try this technique:
Floss before brushing teeth; this will loosen plaque so that your brushing will be more effective.
Take 18″ of floss tape and wind it around the middle finger of each hand. Hold it tautly. Using fingers and thumbs, take a section of about 2″ and insert between teeth.
Gently guide the floss down to the gum and move it deliberately from side to side to clean under the gumline, then move on to the next gap. Work systematically around the whole mouth.
For further advice about flossing and gum health or to book a consultation, patients are very welcome to contact Dr. Luis Gomez at Complete Dental Health, Coral Springs, Florida on 954-228-2963