Flossing can be defined as a process of cleaning the food particles between the teeth and gums using a special type of soft thread called dental floss. It is an important dental hygiene practice that had gained much popularity in recent times. Know the advantages and disadvantages of flossing to plan your oral hygiene.

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Teeth have both functional as well as aesthetic value, damaged teeth make chewing difficult also keep us alert all the time with abrupt sensitivity. From aesthetic point, if the teeth are blemished or not in good shape anymore, smiling turns into an embarrassment. Doctors nearly always speak out that brushing and mouth washing is not enough; that more than mere brushing, one needs flossing of teeth to maintain teeth hygiene. Brushing is known to clean the outer surface of teeth, but for inter-dental cleaning, brushing is not enough. Dental flossing maintains inter-dental hygiene. There are few tighter areas in our mouth, especially the area between two teeth. These are the areas where the bristles of tooth brush can hardly reach. Hence, flossing is necessary and the advantages of flossing make it even more essential.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Flossing

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Advantages of Flossing

There are number of advantages of flossing, knowing them can help us to understand why dentist compel individuals to floss their teeth daily. Let us get to know the advantage of flossing.

Flossing Prevents Teeth from Falling Out

  • After long sleep, when we wake up in the morning and our teeth are covered with thin subtle white layer, which is plaque and plaque is the outcome of bacteria raid.
  • Floss not only helps in removing the food bits that stick in between two teeth, but it helps keeping bacteria away from teeth.
  • Brushing removes the thin layer, but the residue leaves in between the teeth never scrape out with brushing. Gradually bacterial builds up and results in tartar that affects gum in due time.
  • Ultimately, gingivitis occurs and directly weakens the gum and if not properly treated it may end in causing periodontal disease that compels teeth fall off untimely. Flossing helps in preventing teeth from falling off by removing the root cause of gingivitis. This is one of the major advantages of flossing.

Flossing is Helpful in Preventing Heart Diseases

  • When it comes to preventing heart disease, flossing is actually helpful. Studies have shown that there is a link between gum disease and serious health conditions.
  • Often gum diseases are known to cause stroke, birth of low weight babies and heart diseases. It can worsen immune system, which may be a cause of these diseases.
  • When there is a gum disease, bacteria, can affect other parts of body, thus disturbing the whole body system.
  • Protection from heart diseases is an indirect but important advantage of flossing.

Flossing May Help in Preventing Dry Mouth

  • Saliva is one of the best natural disinfectants and without saliva bacteria gets a chance to affect gum and teeth.
  • Seniors run through the risk of dry mouth, as there are medicines which are likely to make the mouth dry and cause different oral diseases.
  • When there is insufficient saliva secretion, flossing helps in removing the food bits that saliva is unlikely to kill bacteria in those food bits due to insufficient saliva secretion.
  • Thus, prevention of dry mouth, especially in the elderly and diabetics, is one of the other common advantages of flossing.

Flossing Helps in Saving Money

  • Although it is not a healthy reason to be happy about, but it is one of the enticing reasons why people these days are seeking to floss.
  • As flossing helps to prevent bacteria growth, it helps to reduce cavities and other dental problems. This not only keeps you healthy but also save your time and money by reducing unnecessary cost on dental treatment.
  • Thus, one of the other advantages of flossing is saving your time and money.

Disadvantages of Flossing

There is no such disadvantage of flossing, but often patients are seen to be crowding at dentist's office complaining that they have been suffering due to flossing. While flossing cannot make one suffer, but there are few instances where carrying out flossing in wrong way may have caused disturbances. Know some of the possible disadvantages of flossing.

When Floss Thread is Not Good

  • There are few brands which are known to offer gum friendly floss, but to save money few go for rough threads thus causing huge damage in the long run. Floss threads are available as both waxed and unwaxed.
  • Now which thread is better may not be easy to decide and can be chosen as per individual preference, or as suggested by your dentist.
  • Though, not actually a disadvantage of flossing, but if the quality of floss is not good, it may damage the gum.

Flawed Process of Flossing

  • It is seen in people who don't know how to floss and end up in injuring the gums, flossing should be done in upward motion. It should not be used as lumberjack that saws the log.
  • When the process is not accurately performed, it may cause damage to the teeth and/or gums. This is one of the commonest disadvantages of flossing, as most people are unaware of the proper flossing technique.
  • You should not take more than a minute or two for flossing except as advised by your dentist.

Floss Obsession

When it comes to flossing, few turn out to be obsessive about it, flossing too much or too aggressively can put too much pressure on gums. Yet, another common disadvantage of flossing, or rather, over flossing is that it can damage the gum line, thus making gums vulnerable to more damage.

Proper Dental Care with Dental Flossing

Plethora of evidences stand in support that the advantages of flossing are many, as it can keep smile beautiful and healthy. When mouth is clean and healthy, serious diseases due to poor dental hygiene are unlikely to take place, hence regular flossing is advised. Before flossing, it is necessary to know everything about dental floss, it is a thin and soft thread. Initially, it may be challenging to use dental floss, instead dental tape can be used which is thicker. Never be aggressive while flossing as it can harm the gums. Dental flossing should be gentle scraping work all through.

Now that you are aware of the advantages and disadvantages of flossing, along with the right technique of flossing, you can surely plan better flossing.

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: December 14, 2017

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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