Do you floss?
If you’re like many adults in the United States, you don’t. In fact, according to 2010 statistics from the American Dental Association, almost 50 percent of American adults do not floss every day and here’s the kicker: 18.5% of American adults do not floss at all.
And there are all sorts of excuses. People say they are too busy. They forget. They don’t think it’s really necessary. They brush regularly, they say, and that keeps cavities and other dental problems at bay.
They couldn’t be more wrong.
When you brush your teeth, you brush a little over 60 percent of their surface. Even the most state-of-the-art toothbrush is not very effective at getting in between the teeth. So to clean the remaining 40 percent, you are going to have to floss or use an interdental cleaner.
What happens if you don’t clean between the teeth? Well, most likely you will end up with tooth decay. Food stuck between the teeth will cause bacteria to accumulate, resulting in tartar, plaque and, eventually dental caries. Lack of flossing could also lead to gingivitis, gum disease and, ultimately, tooth loss.
The ADA and your Lawrenceville dentist recommends flossing at least once a day. To do this, just grab a small length of dental floss and hold it taut with two hands. Then, holding the floss in a “c” shape carefully work your way around your mouth, moving the floss from the gums outward. Don’t forget the teeth in the very back of your mouth.
If you have trouble remembering to floss, leave the packet of floss by your toothbrush in the bathroom. It won’t take long before flossing becomes a habit – and you’re on your way to a cleaner, brighter smile.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Lawrenceville Family Dental Care, P.C.
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