While everyone knows that brushing twice a day is a part of a healthy oral hygiene routine, many people skip a step that is just as important: flossing. Flossing is important in helping to reduce gingivitis and plaque for a healthy mouth. Read on to learn more about the importance of flossing.
What Happens if I Don’t Floss?
Individuals who skip flossing are putting themselves at risk for both gingivitis and cavities between the teeth. If you do not floss, dental plaque buildup is not removed. These bacteria can cause irritation to the gum tissue, causing it to become inflamed and bleed easily, which can breed bacteria and cause gingivitis. The same dental plaque can lead to harmful bacteria between the teeth, which can destroy enamel, forming a cavity.
When gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontal disease. The bacteria from periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and travel to other areas of the body, harming the heart and respiratory tract. It has also been linked to diabetes and can contribute to the risk of low birth weight in newborns. By practicing optimal oral hygiene at home, patients can avoid this progression.
Optimal Oral Hygiene Practices
To keep your mouth, teeth, and gums as healthy as possible, be sure to floss at least once a day, usually right before bed, to remove any food and plaque from between the teeth. Flossing should be done with a waxed floss for optimal use. Also, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your teeth at least twice a day to remove plaque, reduce gingivitis, and prevent cavities.
If you have any questions regarding a healthy oral hygiene routine or flossing, contact our Grand Rapids office today! We would be happy to answer any questions that you may have, as well as schedule an appointment with Dr. Zwier.