Archives for September 2012

Need to floss?

bigstock-Beautiful-woman-smile-Dental-43287994Flossing helps to counter bad breath, bleeding gums and receding gum lines and is a very important way of removing harmful bacteria and other debris that your toothbrush can’t reach.

Many dental professionals believe that flossing is the single most important weapon against plaque.

In any event, daily flossing is an excellent and proven method for complementing your brushing routine and helping to prevent cavities, periodontal (gum) disease, and other dental problems later in life. It also increases blood circulation in your gums. Floss at least once every day.

Like brushing, flossing should take about two minutes and can easily be done while doing another activity, such as watching television by following these 4 easy steps:

1. Break off about 45 cm of floss and wind most of it around your middle finger
2. Wind the rest of the floss similarly around the middle finger of your other hand
3. Move the floss between your teeth with your index fingers and thumbs
4. Manoeuvre the floss up and down several times wrapping it around the teeth

While doing this, make sure you go below the gum line, where bacteria tend to build up and your brush can’t reach. This is where the worst sulphur producing bacteria hide.

Don’t snap the floss between your teeth as it will hurt and cause bleeding, instead gently “saw” the floss between your teeth if the contact is tight. Your gums may be tender or even bleed for the first few days after flossing – but flossing will usually solve this bleeding. Some people make the big mistake of stopping flossing when it bleeds… because the gum bleeds when it is infected so flossing is needed to help clean the gum.

Research suggests that regular flossing reduces the likelihood of heart disease, miscarriages and premature birth weights. By reducing plaque and bacteria levels by flossing and good brushing technique, you limit the possibility of these germs entering your blood stream and therefore affecting other systems in your body.

Talk to your dental team for tips and hints on the best way to floss your mouth to ensure you are being effective. Remember that “if you ignore your teeth they will go away!”