Is Regular Flossing Important to your Oral Health?

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Need for Regular Flossing

“Regular flossing is very important and it has its benefits” says Dr. Randeep Bhullar, DDS, of Reach Dental in Lawrenceville, GA. Dental floss can help clear food debris and plaque from the spaces between your teeth, where your toothbrush can’t reach. As a result, flossing helps prevent gum or periodontal diseases, tooth decay, and bad breath.

Things you should keep in mind to get out of flossing:

Use dental floss or an interdental cleaner every day.
Floss regularly…at least once a day.
Be gentle to your gums when using dental floss to avoid damaging gum tissue.
Use a floss holder if long threads of regular dental floss are too hard for you to hold.

Different Types of Dental Cleaning Products

Drugstores offer a huge variety of dental cleaning tools. These include:

Waxed dental floss
Unwaxed dental floss
Interdental cleaning aids, including picks and special sticks
Oral irrigators, which use water to remove plaque caught between teeth
Mouth rinses
Both waxed and unwaxed dental floss work well to clean the spaces between your teeth. If the spaces are tight, waxed floss may glide more easily between them. The bottom line, says Price, is that flossing every day is more important to your oral health than which floss you choose.

Generally, a floss holder may be helpful if you have trouble handling long pieces of floss due to arthritis, vision difficulties, or discomfort, but you must follow instructions or ask your dentist how to use them properly so you don’t hurt your gums.

In addition, oral irrigators can help remove food caught between your teeth, too; but they shouldn’t replace dental floss and toothbrushing. Likewise, most mouthwashes won’t do an effective job of keeping your mouth healthy on their own. Many are used simply to cover up breath odor, although some over-the-counter fluoride mouth rinses approved by the ADA can help prevent decay, and some anti-gingivitis or anti-plaque mouth rinses can help fight periodontal diseases