Despite claims to the contrary in some circles, the dental community and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to stress the importance of regular flossing for long-term oral health. From helping to prevent cavities to reducing the risk of periodontal (gum) disease and potential tooth loss, flossing works in conjunction with brushing to keep the teeth and gums clean and free of bacteria and plaque build up. Dr. Chanda Bennett, a dentist at Bella Dentistry in Athens, GA, recommends flossing at least once a day, and brushing twice a day to help keep the teeth and gums plaque free between dental check-ups and cleanings.
Tooth Decay and Gum Disease Prevention in Athens, GA
Why is flossing still necessary? Even with the best toothbrush and brushing technique, the bristles of a toothbrush can only reach the top and sides of the teeth. The spaces between the teeth are vulnerable to bacteria build up, which eventually hardens and solidifies into plaque, causing gum inflammation (gingivitis), the first stage of gum disease. Gingivitis causes the gums to bleed during brushing or from biting into certain foods, a common problem for many Americans.
It's Never Too Late to Start Flossing
Most of us have good intentions when it comes to taking care of our smiles and our overall health. But like any healthy habit, it can be easy to fall off track and neglect the gums, until the next dental visit, where the dentist seems to somehow have a sixth sense about your flossing habits. The good news is that oral hygiene is not an all or nothing proposition. Even if you haven't flossed for years, it's never too late to start again. Flossing can help to reverse the symptoms of early gingivitis and keep your gums and teeth clean in between professional dental cleanings. For the best results, visit the dentist every six months to a year, and aim to floss at least once every 24 hours, whether in the evening or at any point in the day that is most convenient.
Find a Dentist in Athens, GA
Healthy teeth and gums start with good oral hygiene practices at home, and regular trips to the dentist. For more information on gum disease prevention and improving your oral health, contact Bella Dentistry by calling 706-546-7722 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bennett today.