woman flossing with a guilty look

There’s a connection between oral health and overall health. One part of a proper oral hygiene routine can help protect your health. Do you know what it is? If so, are you doing this daily? Making this practice part of your daily routine can protect more than your teeth.

Flossing Daily Can Help Lower the Risk Of:

Bad Breath — Pieces of food and bacteria staying in the mouth too long emit odors, causing breath to smell bad. Remove the trapped food particles by flossing daily.

Gum Disease — Floss regularly to help stop plaque buildup. Plaque inflames your gums and can lead to gingivitis when it remains on your teeth too long.

Heart Disease — The inflammation caused by gum disease can damage the arteries. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, patients with periodontal disease are twice as likely to have coronary artery disease.

Diabetes — Inflammation caused by the bacteria from advanced gum disease (periodontitis) can contribute to insulin resistance and damage the blood vessels, which may increase the risk of diabetes.

Common Flossing Mistakes

Flossing Too Little or Too Much — Infrequent flossing leads to plaque and tartar buildup, and flossing too often can damage your gums.

Flossing Too Fast — Spend a few seconds on the sides of each tooth, working the floss up and down approximately 10 times.

Stop Flossing When Gums Bleed — If it’s been a while since you’ve flossed, the gums will bleed initially. When you floss daily, the bleeding will stop as your gums get healthier.

Flossing Incorrectly — Use an up and down motion, not back and forth, to clean both sides of your teeth.

The Proper Way to Floss

Floss at least once a day. Wrap the ends of a piece of floss 15 to 18 inches long around your middle fingers. Give yourself one to two inches of floss to use per tooth. Put the floss in between your teeth and wrap it around the side of the tooth. It should look like the letter C.

Slide the floss carefully up and down along each side of the adjacent teeth. Repeat the process for each tooth. Brushing and flossing work together. You can leave up to 35 percent of the surfaces of your teeth vulnerable to decay by not flossing daily. How long has it been since your last dental visit? Contact my office to schedule an appointment.


Dr. Sehnert