Whether you are middle aged or beyond retirement, you have to take care of your teeth. This means cleaning them every day with a brush and, especially, with dental floss. Some dentists believe that flossing is at least as important as brushing when it comes to preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Not nearly as well defined is when the flossing should be done.
The Importance of Flossing
The biggest enemy to your teeth and gums is plaque. This concentration of food products contains bacteria that usually accumulate between teeth and in the area where the bottoms of the teeth make contact with the gums. Plaque can lead to decay in the teeth, but it also cause inflammation of the gums and, eventually, to periodontal disease. Periodontal afflictions can lead to other health problems, even heart disease.
Regular brushing and flossing is necessary to both clean away plaque and prevent its accumulation. This will in turn enhance the natural processes of the mouth that prevent cavities and gum disease. In cleaning away the plaque that accumulates between the teeth, which is an area not accessible with a brush, flossing can be useful in preventing both dental caries and gum disease.
The Best Time to Floss
Some dentists believe that the best time of the day to floss is whenever you have the time to do it effectively. In many cases, this is before bedtime. Flossing in the evening will also clear away food particles that have built up during the meals and snacks eaten during the day. Additionally, the meat and poultry products that require greater chewing, and are more likely to leave remnants between the teeth, are usually consumed at dinnertime.
Nighttime flossing may also be more effective because of the reduced levels in the mouth of saliva, which naturally helps to clean and protect teeth and gums, during the evening hours. Brushing and flossing can together compensate for the absence of saliva and keep your mouth clean until morning.
Flossing once a day should be sufficient, but you should never shy away from a morning floss if you have the time. If you take care of your teeth and gums, they will be around to serve you, no matter your age! Learn more about the importance of dental hygiene by contacting Daxon Dentistry at (727) 565-1665.