flossingFlossing should be an essential part of your dental hygiene routine. Dental floss is needed to clean between the small gaps between your teeth – the gaps that your toothbrush cannot reach into. If these gaps are left uncleaned then bacteria and tartar can gather, leaving you more prone to dental decay and gum disease.

How often you should floss is a question that your dentist can best answer and will depend on each person's individual needs. For instance, if you have sensitive teeth or are prone to sore gums, then you might be advised to floss less often.

Why is it Important to Floss?

Regular flossing can have a positive impact on a person's health and well-being. Detailed below are some of the benefits that can be achieved through regular flossing. Below we provide you with 7 benefits of flossing and provide you with some basic guidance on how to floss correctly.

Flossing Prevents Bad Breath

Regular flossing between meals can prevent bad breath or halitosis. Halitosis is often caused by small pieces of food that get stuck between the teeth. These pieces of food can begin to rot, and they cannot be removed through regularly brushing; the most effective way to remove these small particles of food is through flossing.

Preventing Gingivitis

If a person has gingivitis, this means that they have inflamed gums which could eventually lead to gum disease if steps are not taken to reduce the inflammation. Gingivitis is caused by the build-up of plague that settles between the gum lines. This can leave a person with sore gums, bleeding gums or bad breathe.

Flossing Prevents Cavities

No one wants to have to endure the pain of a cavity if they don't have to. Flossing has been shown to help reduce the chance of developing a cavity, which means less pain and fewer expensive dental appointments.

Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

Many studies have shown that regular flossing can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Experts believe that periodontitis, which can be caused by a lack of dental hygiene, can contribute to heart disease.

Respiratory Disease

Although the links between poor dental hygiene and heart disease are well known, there is less information about respiratory disease and how it can be associated with dental problems. However, it has been found that the bacteria contained within your mouth can make its way towards the throat and cause problems with the respiratory system.

Sinus Problems

Gum disease can eventually lead to inflammation and infection in the sinuses if it goes untreated. Symptoms of sinus infection typically include swelling, stuffiness, congestion, a high temperature and pain in the teeth and head.

Good oral hygiene will play a large part in preventing gum disease thus helping to prevent sinus problems.

It Can Save You Money

Flossing isn't just about keeping your smile looking good, it can also help you save money. As dental treatment becomes increasingly expensive, no one wants to spend any more time in the dentist's chair then they have to.

Taking a minute or two to floss every day will mean far fewer dental problems overall, which will save money when it comes to the next dentist's visit.

How To Floss Your Teeth Effectively

Now, you know why you should floss, here's some tips on how to floss effectively.

Dental flossing needs to be carried out correctly as it can cause damage to your teeth and gums if it isn't. Follow these tips for flossing effectively:

  • 1. First, you'll need approximately 18 inches of floss. Most of the floss should be wrapped around your middle finger and a few inches should be left free for you to floss with.
  • 2. Use your thumb and finger to hold the floss taut. Carefully slide the floss between the gaps in two teeth. Move the floss gently up and down along the sides of the teeth.
  • 3. Next, clean around the base of each tooth by curving the floss around the base of your tooth. Take care to floss beneath the gum line as well.
  • 4. Use a piece of clean floss for each tooth, otherwise you will just move any bacteria that might have gathered from one tooth to another.
  • 5. Once you have finished, remove the floss by using a back and forth movement to extract the floss from the teeth.

Make sure that you floss all of your teeth, and don't be too concerned if you see a little bit of bleeding as this is common if you haven't flossed before. However, if the bleeding continues then you should see a dentist as this could be a sign of gum disease.

Dental Policies For Expats In Spain

Read more about the Sanitas dental policy when choosing health insurance with us here at Health Plan Spain.

Image credit: luckybusiness / 123RF Stock Photo

Join us on Facebook