At Stroope Orthodontics, we aim to educate our patients on how to best care for their smiles. One of the best things you can do for your teeth and gums is to have a superb daily oral hygiene routine. Preventive dental care practices can limit and even totally prevent many common dental ailments, such as bad breath, gum recession, tooth decay, sensitive teeth, and gum disease. Today, we want to talk about one simple, cheap, and effective way you may be able to prevent gum disease: flossing!
Why Should I Floss?
Floss may be a tiny piece of thread, but it packs a powerful punch. In fact, without flossing, you are leaving up to 40% of your tooth uncleaned, which allows bacteria to thrive and accumulate along your teeth and under your gumline. As bacteria feed on food particles lingering in your mouth, they produce an acidic byproduct that damages your enamel, the outer coating of your teeth. This can lead to discoloration, sensitive teeth, and cavities. Moreover, poor oral hygiene allows bacteria and debris in your mouth to collect in a sticky film of plaque that irritates and inflames gums. Plaque can then harden into tartar, a tough substance that can cause gums to recede and become infected. Tartar can only be removed by a dental professional.
Flossing & Gum Disease
Gum disease is a serious dental condition that has multiple stages. If diagnosed early in the gingivitis stage when the gums are only mildly irritated and inflamed, we can often reverse some of its effects. But if left untreated, severe gum disease is painful and can lead to tooth loss and bone loss. Gum disease is also associated with an increased risk for oral cancer. Flossing helps prevent gum disease by cleaning out the buildup of bacteria and plaque from between your teeth and from below the gumline. If your gums regularly bleed, it’s time to start flossing more. Additionally, schedule your next dental visit to make sure your mouth is squeaky clean!
Keep Up with Your Daily Preventive Care for Healthy gums
Here’s the good news: with a good at-home routine that involves brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time and flossing every day, you can prevent painful and harmful issues with your gums. And healthy gums are required if you want to straighten your teeth with orthodontic treatment. To ask us questions about what else you can do to prepare for orthodontic treatment, contact our Stroope Orthodontics team today!