Brush twice, floss once: the golden rule of dental health. And yet it seems every annual cleaning finds you renewing your promise to be a better, more consistent flosser. Perhaps if you knew why flossing was so crucial to the health of your teeth and gums, you might find the motivation to keep follow through with your good intentions.
Why is flossing crucial to healthy teeth and gums?
Flossing does something brushing can’t do alone, which is reach the surfaces between teeth, at the gum line and behind hard-to-reach molars. The reason you want to you clean these areas is because left-over plaque (gooey bacteria) builds up and creates a opportunity for infection to occur. Flossing also stimulates the gums, which have many tiny blood vessels that carry nutrients to the tooth root. Massaging the gums by brushing and flossing increases circulation, resulting in strong teeth.
Is flossing my only option?
If flossing is not easy for you, due to arthritis or braces, Dr. James Fondriest offers a solution. Inter-dental stimulators are stick-like tools with a brush on one end. They work for targeting specific areas that a wider angled tooth brush cannot clean properly. For even more effectiveness, try dipping the end in an oral anti-bacterial cleanser like Gly-Oxide. Inter-Dental Stimulators do not make tradition flossing irrelevant but they provide essential gum stimulation. You will still want to have your dental hygenist floss your teeth for you at your next cleaning.