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Flossing

Flossing and Why It Matters

Flossing is important to clean teeth and gums

Part of your oral home care routine should be to brush at least two times a day – once when you start the morning and the second time right before bed. In addition to brushing, flossing should also be part of your daily routine. While brushing helps remove unwanted bacteria and leftover food particles from tooth surfaces, the bristles of the brush may not be able to get into the tighter spaces created by teeth touching one another.  

Woman flossing

Benefits of Flossing

  • Helps remove food debris in areas where a brush cannot access – by doing so, flossing helps prevent bacteria from building up. If bacteria build up long enough to form plaque, yellow staining may occur in addition to the increased possibilities of cavities forming. 
  • Can help prevent bad breath – bad breath may be caused by the food that gets trapped between teeth and in the gum line. Remove trapped food for fresher breath  
  • Prevents gum disease – this disease causes inflammation and infection of the gums. If gums remain in poor conditions for periods of time, extreme decay and root issues may become inevitable  
  • May help your heart health – according to a study from 2019, participants who maintained great oral hygiene had a decreased risk of heart failure & other heart issues

Before starting your flossing routine, find out what kind of floss would be best for you

  • Traditional string floss – select from different materials such as waxed, un-waxed, Super floss, dental tape, and polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE). Traditional floss can also be found on disposable flossers.
  • Water flossers – these flossers, such as WaterPiks, have become increasingly popular and have simplified flossing by using water and pressure. This option may be best specifically for patients with braces and bridgework. 
  • Air flossers – more recently developed, these flossers use “microburst technology” to use air and drops of water to remove the plaque in between teeth. By using less water than a water flosser, air flossers are a bit easier to use and reduce messes created by excess water usage.
  • Interdental brushes – varying in sizes and shapes, these brushes contain tiny bristles and can be an easier alternative for those that find traditional string floss difficult to use.  We love TePe brand brushes. 

If you have any questions or are in need of recommendations on how to better your oral health at home, contact our office at 904.348.0416.  Dr. Rachel Monteiro and her team of Jacksonville dental professionals are always excited and ready to answer any of your questions.