Although you may well consider flossing to be an optional extra, the truth is the flossing your teeth comes with some significant benefits. Some could save you from a future need for cosmetic dentistry, while others might even improve your overall health.
Floss helps to protect against common dental problems
If you only brush your teeth, you leave two of the five surfaces unclean. Similarly, if you don’t know how to floss properly, then you’ll leave unnecessary food residue between your teeth, increasing the risk of gum disease and cavities. As a result, you’ll be less likely to need costly or lengthy treatments in the future. In addition, there is evidence that a reduced likelihood of gum disease is linked to a lower body mass index and a lower risk of both diabetes and heart disease.
Floss improves the appearance of your smile
Since flossing helps to remove unwanted bacteria, it enables you to maintain a beautiful, white smile. Food residue can eventually make your teeth look grey and unhealthy, lowering your self-esteem and making you reluctant to smile freely.
Floss can promote dental health in children
As family dentistry practitioners know all too well, it can be difficult to get children to maintain their dental health. However, flavored floss can make oral hygiene more appealing. Some children may be intrigued by floss that changes color to show the user how much debris they have removed, offering tangible proof that flossing is beneficial.
Floss improves bad breath
Bad breath (halitosis) can cause severe social anxiety. Although some medical conditions and drugs cause halitosis, most cases are caused by poor oral hygiene. By ensuring that your mouth is maximally clean, flossing can dramatically improve that the scent of your breath. This benefit is enhanced by mint floss that has a pleasant smell.
How to properly floss your teeth
It’s important to note that you will only enjoy the above benefits if you learn how to floss effectively. In particular, you should hold your floss taut so that it will easily fit into the gaps between your teeth, slowly moving the floss up and down. You should spend 8-10 seconds on each gap if you want to make sure that your teeth have been properly cleaned. It is vital to use a new section of floss for each gap too, or you will risk transferring bacteria back onto your teeth.
Choosing the right type of floss
Many people are confused by the many different types of dental floss on the market, and the best type for you will depend on your unique mouth. The two main types are waxed and unwaxed, and they are equally effective at removing bacteria. However, unwaxed floss is easier to fit into narrow gaps, so if you have a fairly crowded mouth then you may benefit from an unwaxed product. Meanwhile, if you have average or large gaps between your teeth, you may find waxed floss more convenient since it less commonly breaks during use.