The mouth is an important indicator of the overall health of the body. If your mouth is not healthy, it can affect other parts of the body because other body functions are closely connected to it. Many clinical studies indicate that improper oral health can cause other systemic diseases. However, most of us do not give the mouth the care it requires. Just brushing your teeth every day is not sufficient. Flossing, using a medicated mouthwash and making changes to your dietary habits are equally important. The importance of dental health should never be underestimated.
Common health problems associated with poor oral health include:
- Bad Breath
- Kidney Disease
- Erectile Dysfunction
People who do not brush their teeth twice every day are at an increased risk of developing gum disease which in turn increases the chances of heart disease. Tooth decay and gum disease can cause inflammatory effects on the circulatory system of the body. This is why dental problems increase the risk of heart disease. Studies also indicate that bad dental health can increase the risk of type II diabetes.
The importance of flossing
Flossing is very important to maintain good oral health. In fact, it is probably even more beneficial than brushing because it removes bacterial plaque more effectively. Brushing can only remove bacteria present on the surface of the teeth. A toothbrush can never efficiently reach the gaps of the teeth. On the other hand, flossing removes bacteria from the gaps between the teeth. This is where bacteria grow and cause dental cavities and gum problems.
Even though flossing is so important, most people never floss. Studies find that people are aware that flossing is beneficial but they still fail to make it a part of their oral hygiene practice. Remarkably, many people do not even brush their teeth twice every day. No doubt, dental problems are very common.
Flossing removes plaque
Flossing prevents cavities and gum disease by removing plaque. Plaque is a sticky mass of bacteria which builds up gradually. It is initially colorless but it may turn pale yellow or brown with time. Progression of plaque gives rise to tooth decay and gum problems. The bacteria living in dental plaque produce acids by breaking down sugars present in food. These acids cause the destruction of the tissues of the teeth leading to dental cavities and gum disease. Therefore, it is important to prevent the buildup of plaque. This can be achieved by proper brushing and use of dental floss.
Any type of floss works
Many different types of dental floss are available in the market. However, any type of floss will do the job if it is used properly. Flossing is very easy. Take a piece of floss measuring about 15 inches and wrap the ends around your index fingers. Slide it between your teeth and move it gently up and down. Scrub both sides of adjacent teeth before moving to the next. It is that simple.
Flossing can also give you indications of potential dental problems. If you see bleeding while flossing, it is an indication that you have gum problems. You can try flossing gently and brush her teeth more often until the bleeding stops. However, if you still see bleeding even after one week, you should visit a dentist. If left untreated, the bacteria can move to other parts of the body through the bloodstream and cause other health problems. Therefore, you should never neglect this.
The best time to floss – Before or after brushing?
Flossing can be done at any time. There is no best time to floss your teeth. As long as it is done properly, it doesn’t matter when. It is best to pick a time when you’re not in a rush and can dedicate some time to it. If you are tired at the end of the day, flossing your teeth the first thing in the morning may be a good idea.
Keep in mind that flossing should not be painful. When you start you may experience some discomfort. However, this should go away within a few days. If you apply excessive force, it can cause injury to the tissue between the teeth. If you do it too gently, it may not clean the gaps of the teeth effectively. If the discomfort persists or if you experience bleeding, it may be an indication of gum problems which should be addressed by a dentist.