The Impact of Flossing on Preventing Gum Disease

Young man flossing his teeth

You can prevent gum disease by brushing twice daily for 2 minutes per session and flossing your teeth at least once per day. Each activity complements the other. You cannot brush your teeth without flossing, and you should not floss your teeth without brushing.

Why Flossing Helps Prevent the Spread of Gum Disease

If you floss between your teeth, you will get rid of the accumulated dental plaque and any stuck food debris. Therefore, you add an extra measure of protection when you clean your teeth. Flossing allows you to thoroughly clean your teeth so you can reach the areas you cannot cover by brushing alone. Plus, flossing stimulates the gums, so they become more resilient and have less of a tendency to bleed.

What Statistics Reveal

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, around 75% of people in the U.S. suffer from the early and advanced gum disease stages, each known as gingivitis and periodontitis, respectively. Therefore, you need to floss your teeth every 24 hours to be part of the 25% who do not have the infection. In fact, dental experts add that flossing is the single most important activity influencing gum health. Not only does flossing prevent gum disease, but it also freshens the breath and therefore prevents problems with halitosis.

What Type of Floss Should I Use?

Whether floss is waxed or unwaxed, unflavored or flavored, wide, or regular, it will clean between the teeth and remove plaque. Wide floss, also called dental tape, often is a good choice for people with bridgework or those who have wider-than-average spaces between the teeth. If you have closely spaced teeth, waxed floss is a better option. Unwaxed floss generally squeaks against clean teeth, indicating that you have removed the plaque, and the teeth are super polished and free of debris.

Flossing really does make a difference if you wish to fight gum disease, as does scheduling regular comprehensive periodontal evaluations. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.