Flossing is one of the main ways to keep your gums, mouth, teeth, and whole body healthy. Yet more than half of all Americans fail to floss daily, and another 20% don’t floss at all. This is of particular concern for all of us at my dental office in Douglasville. So we wanted to shed a bit of light on why so many people aren’t flossing.
So, What’s the Deal?
There are several reasons people aren’t flossing on a regular basis. Check out a few of the more common ones below.
They Don’t See The Point.
Flossing reaches places in your mouth that a toothbrush can’t. While brushing your teeth is still absolutely important in maintaining proper oral health, if you skip flossing, all of the spaces in between teeth are left uncleaned. With so many people forgoing the floss on a regular basis, it’s no surprise that most cavities are found in these exact spots. What’s more, flossing your teeth helps remove bacteria from below the gum line which can help reduce the risk of gum disease. Gum disease is an incredibly serious problem that can actually affect the whole body by increasing the risk of stroke and heart attack.
They Aren’t Sure How to Floss Correctly.
Although it seems pretty straightforward, there is a right way and wrong way to floss. Flossing will be uncomfortable if you’re not sure how to do it right. But we promise, it’s easy. Just follow the American Dental Association’s steps to successful flossing:
- Use about 18 inches of floss. Wrap the ends around each middle finger.
- Tighten the floss and wiggle it in between the space between teeth using a back and forth motion.
- When it reaches the gum line, form the floss into a “U” around the shape of the tooth.
- Press gently and glide the floss in an up and down motion.
- Repeat between each tooth, unwrapping a new, clean section of floss.
They Have Pain or Bleeding.
There’s a common misconception that if flossing hurts, you should stop. The truth is quite the opposite. If flossing is a bit painful, it’s actually a sign of not flossing enough. Additionally, if gums bleed, it could be a sign of gum disease. Even if flossing isn’t so comfortable, it’s important to get into the habit of doing it regularly. Like exercising, it hurts less the more you do it.
If you’re having trouble flossing, or are experiencing pain or bleeding when you do, give my Douglasville dental office a call as soon as possible. We’ll work with you to find a flossing solution that works well for you and your health. And if we happen to find signs of a more serious problem, we’ll create an individualized plan to treat it.
Serving patients from Douglasville, Lithia Springs, and Villa Ricca.
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can affect people of all ages. It can be embarrassing, and if it doesn’t go away, it might also be a sign of a serious problem. But what exactly causes bad breath, and how can you get rid of it?
What Causes Bad Breath?
At my dental practice in Douglasville, we know bad breath can be caused by a lot of things, including some types of food and drink. That type of bad breath usually dissipates fairly quickly and isn’t something to worry about. However, when bad breath tends to linger day in and day out, you should give us a call.
Chronic bad breath (halitosis), meaning bad breath that does not go away after brushing, flossing, and rinsing, is typically an indicator of a bigger problem. Halitosis means there is a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. Those bacteria live and feed off tooth plaque, and when they feed, hydrogen sulfide is produced and gives off a malodorous stench. Bad breath is also a top sign of gum disease – a serious concern for your mouth and your body.
Gum disease may also affect your overall health. Untreated gum disease has been shown to cause loose teeth, receding gums, and sensitivity, as well as increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetic complications.
How to Get Rid of Bad Breath
If you suffer from bad breath, there are few tips you can try.
- Proper Oral Hygiene. Maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day can work wonders to keep your mouth fresh and bacteria free. Make sure each time you brush it’s for about two minutes (hum “Happy Birthday” twice!) and that you reach each surface of each tooth. When flossing, it’s important to clean in between each tooth and under the gum line where bacteria love to hide.
- Tongue Scraping. Your tongue can hold a lot of bacteria in each of its tiny bumps and grooves, which is why it’s important to gently scrub it each time you brush. Some patients have difficulty cleaning their tongues with a traditional toothbrush because it makes them gag. If this is a problem for you, try using a tongue scraper instead.
- Water, Water, Water. Drinking plenty of water every day can also help keep your mouth stink free. Water keeps your mouth hydrated and rinses away bacteria. If you slack on your H₂O intake, your mouth could become dehydrated. When this happens, less saliva is produced and bacteria isn’t cleared away.
- Your Dentist. Bad breath shouldn’t be treated lightly. If you notice a lingering odor, call my Douglasville dental office as soon as possible. We’ll work with you to determine the cause and talk about the best treatment for you. We also won’t lecture you or make you feel embarrassed. We’re here to help keep your smile and your body healthy.
Accepting patients from Douglasville, Lithia Springs, and Villa Rica.