Floss: Bacteria’s Kryptonite

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Do you floss your teeth every day? Most people don’t. However, merely brushing your teeth is not as effective as brushing and flossing. Flossing is vital to your teeth’s health. Read below to find out more!

The Threat of Bacteria

Harmful bacteria can wreak havoc in the mouth. They may cling to teeth by forming plaque or tartar that attack the teeth, causing cavities and infections. In addition, bacteria can make their way beneath the gums, where they can do even more damage. Initially, bacteria may cause an inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). Gingivitis is difficult to get rid of and can develop into periodontitis, a more damaging form of gum disease. Gingivitis tends to linger because the bacteria responsible for the disease triggers the body’s production of an anti-inflammatory molecule known as IL-10. These molecules then interfere with the body’s bacteria-fighting T-cells, allowing gingivitis to fester and grow into periodontitis.

Periodontitis attacks vital structures, such as ligaments and tissue, which support teeth. As a result, teeth can fall out entirely! Furthermore, gum disease increases the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Periodontitis is serious. It can kill you if left untreated!

The Benefits of Flossing

Flossing is very beneficial to the mouth because it aids in bacteria removal in places that a toothbrush is unable to reach. If you neglect flossing, bacteria may hide in these crevices, damaging your teeth and gums. Flossing can remove these harmful bacteria and prevent serious tooth and gum damage.

A Few Flossing Reminders

  • Use about 18 inches of dental floss. It is important to use enough floss in order to work with clean sections of the floss as you make your way through your mouth. Otherwise, you may simply relocate rather than remove bacteria.
  • Gently glide the floss between your teeth, making sure it rubs against edges of each tooth. Forcing the floss is painful and can damage your gums!
  • Hold the floss between your thumbs and index fingers. The grip allows you to maneuver the floss with more precision, allowing you to clean your teeth more effectively.

Visit Your Williamsburg Dentist

By brushing and flossing daily, you can do your part to ensure that your mouth remains healthy. However, it is still important to attend regular dental visits. If you are due for a dental cleaning, contact our office today at 757-645-4055 to schedule an appointment.

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