When you think of oral hygiene, most people immediately think of brushing your teeth; usually flossing takes a back seat to this more popular task. According to a 2008 survey, only 49% of Americans floss daily, while 10% of Americans never floss at all. However, flossing your teeth is a vital part of taking care of your teeth, gums, and mouth in general. If you neglect flossing your teeth, you are missing out on a host a benefits that you could be experiencing by merely taking a few extra minutes to clean in between each of your teeth.
Steer Clear of Gingivitis and Periodontitis Flossing your teeth regularly helps to keep both your teeth and gums clear of plaque. Without this, you could eventually find increased amounts of tartar building up on your teeth. If your teeth become overrun with large amounts of tartar and you don't take the necessary steps to confront this problem, the bacteria could move from your teeth into your gums, and it could even reach as far as your jaw bones. When these situations occur, it is called gingivitis (the less severe case that reaches the gums) and periodontitis (the more severe case that reaches the jaw bone). By flossing your teeth, you are ridding your mouth of the food or other items that rest between your teeth and gums. This is a proactive measure to prevent against gum disease.
With the added clean your teeth experience from flossing, you will witness brighter, whiter teeth. With less plaque and other particles sticking to your teeth anymore, it is only natural that your teeth will look and feel stronger and healthier. Getting the top layers of plaque and other staining agents off your teeth will help make your dental care seem more apparent to the naked eye. Instead of spending a large sum of money on getting your teeth professionally whitened, just start making flossing a real part of your daily routine.
To have the greatest results from flossing your teeth, do it before you brush. This gets rid of any food or other particles that have lodged themselves between your teeth and allows for your toothbrush and mouthwash to affect a greater surface area of your mouth because more parts of your teeth are exposed. You can still reap multiple benefits from flossing your teeth after brushing, but your brushing will be even more effective if it is completed after you floss.