Plaque can quickly accumulate on teeth and along the area of the gum line. Flossing on a regular basis can optimize oral health and reduce the development of serious issues, such as gum disease and tooth decay. Start teaching your children good habits early.
The American Dental Association (ADA) released a comprehensive statement in August 2016 that explains that flossing, along with professional dental cleanings, regularly brushing the teeth, and flossing with interdental products is a necessary component to disrupting plaque growth and removing the potentially harmful agent from the teeth.
As a parent, you should initiate the task of flossing between the ages of two and six, when the teeth start fitting close together.
“Dental health is very important. If we can instill good brushing and flossing habits now, that is the basis for years and years into adulthood.” – Jennifer Williams
Bacterial Species That Create Plaque
Research conducted by numerous organizations and agencies have concluded that there are in excess of 500 different types of bacterial-based species that aid in the creation of plaque within the mouth.
These include the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), the Division of Oral Health with the CDC, and the American Dental Association.
Of these species, some are good for the teeth; however, the rest are bad.
When allowed to combine with debris from food, drinking water, and other substances, these bacterial species play a large role in the development of disease within the mouth and the soft tissues, therein.
The main benefit associated with flossing is that it aids in the removal of plaque. However, there are several other benefits, which include:
- A lot of debris in the mouth cannot be successfully removed by brushing or rinsing alone. By flossing, this debris can be removed and the teeth will appear brighter.
- Flossing aids in removing infectious substances in the mouth, which can reduce the amount of inflammation in the body.
- Flossing is believed to aid in the process of optimizing cardiovascular health.
- If flossing is performed on a regular basis, it allows you to examine the components of your mouth closely. In some cases, you may identify symptoms associated with serious health issues – such as cancer – and be able to treat those issues early.
- Flossing helps in eliminating tooth sensitivity.
- Flossing aids in reducing the chance for the gums to bleed.
- Flossing daily helps to reduce the onset of gingivitis.
- Flossing is believed to result in fewer bouts of snacking.
- Engaging in flossing on a daily basis helps to reduce the chance for the development of cavities within the mouth.
What Flossing Doesn’t Do
Now that you know the importance of flossing and the health benefits associated with the interdental activity, it is time to learn what flossing does not do:
- Flossing will not clean the teeth. This should be done through brushing and professional cleanings offered through your child’s pediatric dentist.
- Flossing will not remove the plaque from all surfaces of the teeth.
- Flossing will not correct cavities that are already present.
- Flossing will brighten the teeth, but, will not whiten the teeth.
- Flossing will not provide the health benefits associated with regular dental visits.