The truth about flossing
Are you flossing every day?
That’s what we are recommended to do by our dentists all the time, but how many of us actually do?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a survey that asked about flossing habits of American citizens. Based on the findings, it is estimated that less than 30% of us floss daily, with women aged 31-44 being the most likely to floss.
“In a non or infrequent flosser, the gums appear redder, bleed easily when manipulated and are what we call “boggy” or “spongy” when touched. These are all signs of inflammation, typically caused by the presence of bacteria sitting around the teeth and gums for too long,” says Dr. Martin.
Flossing is important in order to keep our teeth and gums healthy and prevent bacteria from building up in our mouths. This bacteria can lead to further oral hygiene issues, such as cavities, tooth decay and gum disease.
Not only is flossing important, but how you floss should be considered, too.
“Proper flossing involves gently inserting the floss between the teeth, followed by curving the floss around the base of each tooth in a C shape and gently moving it up and down a few times to remove debris. Never snap the floss into place between teeth, as this can irritate or damage the gums and cause them to bleed,” explains Dr. Martin.
Flossing should be a part of everyone’s daily routine. Dr. Martin adds that it is helpful to floss before bed so you can remove all the built-up plague from throughout the day.
If you have questions about flossing, consult your local dentist.
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About the Author
Amy Levato, health enews contributor, is a public affairs and marketing intern at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. She is a senior pursuing a degree in marketing at DePaul University. When she isn't interning, she enjoys interior design, dancing and spending time with her family and friends.