October 18, 2016
Red, puffy and bleeding gums–these signs show Fremont dentist, Dr. James Block, that you don’t floss. Should you practice this common oral hygiene routine? Find out why correct and routine flossing protects your health.
Your Mouth and Your Body
Dr. Block and his dedicated team promote daily flossing because they believe the practice benefits your teeth and your gums. Besides twice daily brushing for two minutes, the American Dental Association recommends flossing in between and around teeth at least once a day. What’s the reason for flossing? It promotes decay-free teeth and gums without dangerous periodontal disease.
Here’s why dental hygiene is critical to oral and to systemic health. As we eat our daily diets, food particles remain on teeth and interdental spaces. Residue from processed sugars and starchy carbohydrates are particularly sticky and form a biofilm called plaque. Left in place, plaque mineralizes into rock-hard tartar.
Your family dentist in Fremont and his team see plaque and tartar when they perform an oral exam. Varying in color, plaque is very obvious at the gumline. Also, people who start flossing just days before their dental visits have gums that are abraded and sore.
Plaque harbors millions of germs that secrete acids which corrode tooth enamel. This corrosion is the dental cavity. Also, these microbes infect gum tissue, causing bad breath and the symptoms of advanced gum disease, such as:
- Pus at the gum line
- Gum and bone recession
- Swelling and redness
- Tooth mobility
- Tooth loss
- Formation of deep gum pockets, areas where the soft tissue detaches from tooth surfaces
Also, while research on the link between periodontitis and overall health is not definitive, dentists believe that oral bacteria plays a role in problems such as:
- Type-2 diabetes
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Heart disease
- Pregnancy complications
While even advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, may be treated with soft tissue diode lasers, oral surgeries and tooth scaling and root planing, the question is, “Why not just floss instead?” Flossing is really simple once you get the hang of it. It takes only a few minutes and is great health insurance.
How to Floss Your Teeth
Dr. Block and his team recommend patients choose a flossing product they like–thick, thin, flavored, waxed or plain. Then, floss as follows:
- Pull a 18-Inch length of floss from the package. Wind each end around opposite index or middle fingers, and using the thumbs, pull a one to two inch section taut.
- Insert the floss between two teeth, and gently move it up and down. Do not snap the floss against gum tissue, particularly if you have not been flossing regularly.
- Continue this insert and floss routine between all your teeth, including molars.
- Wind the used floss around your fingers as you go, and use clean floss each time.
At first, your gums may bleed, but over time, your gums will firm up, and interdental spaces will be noticeably cleaner when you visit James Block Dentistry for your exam and professional cleaning.
Why Not Begin Today?
Begin this oral hygiene habit right away for best oral and overall health. Contact James Block Dentistry for your semi-annual appointment, and ask your hygienist for more tips on proper flossing.
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