For patients who have been avoiding seeing a general dentist because of fear or apprehension, it may be helpful to know that they are not alone. A 2015 study published in Dental Research Journal found that 58.8% of dental patients surveyed experienced dental anxiety. For patients with severe dental phobia, there are several steps they…
General Dentistry Basics: Why Is It Smart to Floss Regularly?
If you have ever had a general dentistry visit, then you have likely been told about the importance of flossing regularly. While it may seem insignificant, flossing is crucial to preventing oral care issues such as periodontal (gum) disease and dental cavities. Learning about the importance of flossing can help you remain motivated to consistently floss.
The benefits of flossing regularly
The benefits of flossing include protection from periodontal disease, a reduced risk of dental cavities, the ability to prevent bad breath from developing and teeth that remain white and free from stains. The following is a review of how flossing often correlates with general dentistry benefits.
Protects periodontal health
Periodontal health refers to the health of the supporting structures of teeth, particularly the gums and the underlying jaw bone. Flossing removes food particles from in between teeth and along the gum line, reducing the risk of harm to the patient’s periodontal health. Without regular flossing, the risk of issues such as gingivitis, periodontitis, deep gum pockets, gum erosion and bone loss in the jaw could occur. These oral health issues often (and inevitably) lead to a loss of one or more teeth and a more complicated teeth replacement procedure if the patient chooses dental implants.
Reduces the risk of cavities
Cavities are perhaps the most common oral health concern that results from a lack of flossing. When food becomes lodged between teeth and combines with bacteria in the mouth, it causes an acidic reaction that eats away at tooth enamel. This eventually creates holes in the teeth, which are known as dental cavities. Although treatment for small cavities is relatively simple, it is still important to floss and do everything possible to keep teeth enamel healthy.
Prevents bad breath
Bad breath results when food particles become trapped between teeth and along the gum line. Not only can the food itself begin to produce a foul odor, but it can also combine with bacteria to make breath smell even worse. By keeping a clean mouth and removing particles in between teeth, patients can keep their breath fresh. This helps in many ways, including in social and professional settings.
Reduces the risk of teeth stains
Teeth stains result when the enamel is stained and plaque and tartar build up on teeth. Although brushing and routine dental cleanings are the best way to avoid teeth stains, flossing also prevents stains from developing on the edges of teeth where food and other particles may become lodged. Therefore, flossing not only offers oral health benefits but also cosmetic benefits.
Schedule a general dentistry check-up visit with our team
You can learn more about flossing and other oral care tips from our general dentistry team. We encourage you to give us a call or send us a message if you have questions or would like to arrange a check-up visit with our friendly team.
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