The importance of flossing

Posted on November 30th, 2018

While most of us are into the routine of brushing our teeth twice a day, fewer people floss at least once as recommended by dentists. Here’s why it’s important not to neglect spending time with that piece of string.

Importance of flossing

According to a report by ADA, only 16% of survey respondents said they floss at least once a day, while 22% said they only floss when they need to or when something is stuck in their teeth. Eight percent said they simply never floss – with the biggest reason for not flossing cited as it being too time consuming (55%). Moreover, 44% of those surveyed admit they have exaggerated to their dentist about how much they floss when asked.

Yet, the benefits of flossing can’t be denied. It removes plague in between your teeth where even your toothbrush is unable to reach. Almost half the surface of your teeth is in between them and while flossing is not meant to replace brushing, it certainly helps to promote healthy, clean teeth and gums that’s critical to fighting plaque, bacteria and bad breath.

Often, people tend to shy away from the traditional method of flossing assuming the worst as it appears to be time consuming and can be potentially painful. But, the best thing about technology is it’s ability to make our lives easier. Considering a rechargeable flossing device is an option that can make the task a lot more bearable and one to incorporate into your daily oral routine allowing you to make the process an easy and effortless one.

ALSO SEE: Dental care during pregnancy

Philips Oral Health gives the following tips and advice for flossing:

  • It helps prevent gum disease such as gingivitis which, when left untreated, can spread below the gum line and cause severe gum disease characterised by severe inflammation and eventual tooth and bone loss.
  • Don’t be alarmed when you see a little blood when you floss, this is because your gums are inflamed because of plaque build-up that has to be cleaned. But, should the blood continue for a couple of days, you need to visit your dentist for a full consultation
  • An alternative to manual flossing is air flossing which makes cleaning between your teeth as easy as pushing a Air flossing has proven to remove up to 99% more plaque between teeth than brushing with a manual toothbrush alone. When used in addition to brushing, air flossing removes significantly more interproximal plaque and results in significantly greater reductions of gingivitis after two weeks and four weeks of use, compared to manual flossing alone.
  • When you floss, it does not only prevent infections and germs in your gums, but plays a role in strengthening your immune system. When bacteria builds up in your mouth without any care, it can travel to other parts in your body, causing further problems.
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About Xanet Scheepers

Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day.