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"Do I really need to floss?"

Dental hygiene is an immensely important part of life, and while it is easy to do, it is not always easy to do daily. Sometimes life gets in the way, and a one night postponement can lead to a week of bad habits. However, keeping your teeth healthy impacts many areas of your life in tremendous ways.

You probably are or know someone who frantically flosses right before a dental checkup, hoping that it will make up for the fact that they don't do every day. But regular flossing is one of the most important parts of a good dental routine.

Do I Really Need to Floss?

Many people believe that brushing their teeth twice a day is enough for a healthy mouth. However, brushing can only remove bacteria on the surface of your teeth, and it leaves the areas between your teeth and deep in the gums compromised. By flossing and brushing, you can rid your mouth of some very harmful bacteria!

Flossing works by disrupting the bacteria under your gum line and between the teeth so that it cannot form plaque or calculus. Plaque is the white gunk that forms on your teeth after eating. If left untouched, it eventually becomes so hard that it can only be removed by a dentist's tools. If enough plaque forms, it can begin to push on the gums leading to inflammation, sensitivity, and bleeding. If left untreated, these early signs of gingivitis can turn into periodontitis. Periodontitis is a serious disease that can lead to tooth and bone loss plus severe infections, but by flossing daily, you can effectively prevent this serious affliction!

How Should I Floss?

Be gentle when flossing to avoid irritating your gums. Try not to snap the floss into your gums, and instead gently glide it downwards between your teeth until resistance is met. Curve the floss into a C-shape, and vibrate the floss up and down to disrupt the bacteria. If you haven't flossed in a while, there may be some initial light bleeding when getting back into the routine. This is normal, but if the bleeding continues after a week of regular flossing, then you should see your dentist to ensure that everything is fine.

Flossing is the key to keeping your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime. By starting now, you will be able to keep all of your teeth throughout the years without infections, increased cavity risks, and the perils of gum disease. If you have any questions, your nearest dentist will be happy to show you how to properly floss. Start flossing today so that you can have a lifetime of beautifully healthy teeth!

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Boise, ID 83709
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