Every day we hear lots of creative (and sometimes lame) excuses for not flossing.
“The cat unraveled my floss.”
“I used it to hang my pictures.”
“I couldn’t find white thread and needed it to reattach a button.”
“Went fishing and used floss as fishing line.”
“Emergency shoe lace.”
“Ponytail holder.” Yada, yada, yada…
The excuse we hear most often is, “My gums bleed when I floss – it must be bad for me.”
If this is your excuse, we have great news! Gums only bleed for a day or two when you start flossing daily. The reason for bleeding is that the gums are inflamed from food and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. Once the plaque is removed, your gums will no longer be inflamed and will stop bleeding. To keep your gums healthy, you must maintain regular brushing, flossing and routine professional cleaning to prevent build up of bacteria-harboring plaque and tartar.
At McCarl Dental Group, we give floss to every patient after their dental hygiene visits. If you have your teeth cleaned regularly according to your dentists’ recommendations, and run out of floss between visits, please come see us. We are happy to give you more floss!
According to Dr. Steven Offenbacher, professor of periodontology at UNC’s School of Dentistry and Dental Research, “Poor dental health is so prevalent that the number of lives saved by eliminating gum disease worldwide would definitely be in the hundreds of thousands.” The first sign of gum disease or gingivitis is red or swollen gums that bleed easily. If gingivitis progresses to periodontitis, the gums recede and pockets form between the gums and teeth, potentially leading to tooth loss.
A substance produced in the body called high-sensitivity C-reactive-protein or hs-CRP is suspected to play a role in the link between gum disease and heart disease. Inflammation from acute gum disease increases the amount of hs-CRP. The American Heart Association says hs-CRP is linked to an increased risk for heart attacks.
Here are a few pointers – just in case you have forgotten how to floss.
• Hold an 18-inch piece of floss tightly between the thumbs and forefingers.
• Guide the floss between the teeth, gently hugging the side of each tooth.
• When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against the side of the tooth and slide it in between the gum and the tooth.
• Move the floss away from the gum with up and down motions and repeat this method between all of your teeth. Don’t forget the back of your last tooth!