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Is Flossing Really That Important?

You have had the longest day! Your flight for work was delayed, which pushed your presentation back, and you’ve finally reached your hotel room and you are ready to crash. As you head to the bathroom to brush your teeth for the day, you are already thinking about skipping the floss. It’s no big deal to skip a night here or there, right? Wrong. Your Cupertino dentist explains why flossing is so important.

What Does Flossing Accomplish?

Flossing your teeth accomplishes two major goals. First, it removes plaque and debris from in between your teeth that could cause cavities. Next, by removing that plaque, it strengthens your gums and decreases your risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease.

What if I don’t Floss Regularly?

When you don’t floss your teeth, plaque builds up in between them and can begin to irritate your gums, causing gingivitis. This is the first phase of gum disease in which you may notice that your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, or they appear red, irritated, or swollen.

Gingivitis left untreated will develop into periodontitis, which is the advanced stage of gum disease. Now you may find your teeth feeling mobile, and your gums starting to recede and expose your roots.

Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in American adults, but besides losing your teeth, it also poses great risks to your overall health and well being. We now know that that the bacteria that causes gum disease can enter your bloodstream and travel to other areas of your body where it may contribute to issues such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.

Periodontal disease can easily be prevented with an excellent home care routine that includes both brushing twice per day and flossing at least once each day. Regular checkups with your dentist will also ensure that you have optimum oral and periodontal health.

Including Flossing in Your Routine

Flossing at night is the best option for removing plaque and bacteria built up during the day before you go to sleep. Use waxed floss so it doesn’t shred, and gently move it up and down both sides of each tooth in a c-shape position. Be careful to be gentle around your gums as vigorous flossing could harm delicate tissues.

Contact your dentist in Cupertino for more helpful tips on flossing your teeth.

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