Do I Really Need To Floss My Teeth?

January 15, 2021 By ksdm

When it comes to practicing good oral health habits, flossing is often viewed as an optional addition to brushing your teeth. While it is a separate action, it should not be viewed as optional. Over half of your tooth’s surface area lies between them and is hard or impossible to reach with a toothbrush. 

The ADA (Australian Dental Association) recommends flossing at least once per day and says, “Flossing should be an essential part of your oral care routine and not an optional extra.”

Benefits Of Flossing

  • Preventative Oral Care – Flossing removes food debris and other bacteria left between your teeth that can harm your teeth and gums. Flossing and brushing form the bedrock of comprehensive preventative oral care. 
  • Prevents Bad Breath – Food debris trapped between your teeth can cause unpleasant odours. Flossing helps remove the food debris that can contribute to bad breath.
  • Prevents Gum Disease – Flossing effectively removes the plaque and build-up between your teeth which leads to gum disease. Plaque build-up can lead to tooth decay and gum disease which sometimes requires root canals or emergency dental treatment to correct. 
  • Prevents Tartar Build Up – Plaque that’s left on teeth for too long hardens and turns into tartar, which can damage your teeth over time and give them a yellow appearance. 

How Often Should You Floss?

It is recommended to floss at least once a day to remove built-up plaque and food debris. It’s best to floss after your last meal of the day, but flossing more than once per day or whenever you have the time to do it is okay. 

How To Floss Correctly

Proper techniques with flossing are important to ensure you are removing all plaque and food debris from between your teeth. You should use about 45cm of floss wrapped around your fingers and slide the floss between your teeth making sure to scrape the plaque off and get the floss down to the gum line. 

After flossing, rinse your mouth out with water and discard the used piece of floss as it contains bacteria that you don’t want to put back in your mouth the next day. 

Should Children Floss?

As soon as your child has two teeth together, you should begin to floss. Children will need help with flossing until around the age of 8-10 as they generally lack the dexterity and techniques to properly floss until that age. Getting your child to floss early on forms good oral care habits later on and contribute to proper children’s oral hygiene 

Flossing With Braces

Even if you or your child has braces, flossing is still required for proper oral hygiene and health. More caution needs to be exercised when flossing teeth with braces which might take a bit longer but built-up plaque and food debris still need to be removed whether you have braces or not! 

There are a variety of different products available to help with flossing with braces such as floss picks, water flossers, or other interdental cleaners. flossing 

Your oral health directly affects your overall health. Flossing is an essential part of maintaining a happy and healthy smile and reducing the chances of oral and general health issues. 

Is it time to visit the dentist for your 6-monthly gap-free check-up and clean? Our friendly staff is always here to answer your questions and help book your appointment. Give us a call on 02 4243 9260 or visit our website today.