Flossing gets about as much respect as Rodney Dangerfield or whoever is the latest Jets’ quarterback to not measure up to Broadway Joe.
But flossing deserves better. It’s an important part of a good home dental hygiene regimen, as it removes plaque from the surfaces and spaces where your toothbrush can’t.
In this first tulip-covered April blog we got into flossing a bit. Let’s finish it off in our second blog after the Easter Bunny has hopped on down the road.
How Does Flossing Help Keep My Gums Healthy?
Your gums have a big job to do, helping hold your teeth in place and protecting the tooth roots from being exposed. This part of their job is important because the tooth roots are not covered with enamel. They are covered with a difference substance called cementum. Cementum is hard, but it’s not as hard as tooth enamel, making it more susceptible to bacterial invasion if the tops of the tooth roots are exposed. That’s why you want to keep your gums healthy and high on the teeth, not irritated and recessed.
Flossing doesn’t get the respect it deserves for keeping your gums healthy. In a 2006 study, researchers compared brushing vs. brushing and flossing in 51 pairs of twins. One twin only brushed twice a day; the other brushed twice and flossed once. After two weeks, the twins who flossed had 38 percent fewer areas where their gums were bleeding than the non-flossers.
When people floss after a hiatus, they can be dissuaded by seeing some blood. They assume this is being caused by the flossing. It is, but not in a bad way. The flossing is simply telling you your gums are inflamed and weak. They should not bleed when coming in contact with the floss. Bleeding gums are one of the first signs of gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease.
When floss is moved down the tooth sides and under the gumline it not only removes food particles and plaque, but it also stimulates the gums. Just as lightly brushing along the gum line is important for healthy gums, so is flossing. The combination will keep your gums a nice bubble gum pink, firm, and not prone to bleeding.
Is it time for your next appointment at Gentle Dental? Call us at (732) 549-5660 to schedule your appointment.