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Posts for tag: flossing

August 17, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   flossing  

To floss or not to floss. It is probably one of the oldest and most hotly debated dental questions around. But when it comes to your oral flossinghealth, there really is no question that flossing is necessary to prevent gum disease, despite claims to the contrary. The American Dental Association (ADA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) continue to stress the importance of flossing as part of your daily oral hygiene routine. Dr. Joseph Reed, a dentist in Arlington, TX, advises patients to floss at least once a day to prevent bacteria buildup between the teeth and gums, as well as a yearly dental exam and professional cleaning.

Preventive Dental Care in Arlington, TX

Even if you brush your teeth several times a day, a toothbrush can't reach all the way between the teeth, leaving behind bacteria. Over time, it eventually solidifies into plaque and tartar. Flossing picks up where brushing leaves off to ensure that your teeth and gums remain bacteria and plaque free between visits to the dentist for a check up and professional cleaning (which are also ADA recommended as part of a comprehensive oral health and hygiene routine).

What Happens When You Don't Floss

Have you ever wondered how the dentist just seems to have a sixth sense about whether or not you have been flossing? That's because your gums are like a canvas for your oral hygiene habits. From tenderness and inflammation to gum recession, skipping the floss can cause a number of problems over time. Some of the most common side effects of not flossing include:

  • Bleeding gums (gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease)
  • Bad breath
  • Red/tender/swollen gums
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Cavities
  • Loose teeth (later stage gum disease)

Studies have found that oral bacteria associated with gum disease may also be linked to serious health conditions that may affect your general health. Flossing once a day is a small price to pay to keep your teeth, gums and body healthy.

Find a Dentist in Arlington, TX

It's never too late to start a good oral hygiene routine. For more information on tooth decay and gum disease prevention, contact Arlington Dental by calling (817) 303-5700 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Reed today.


Great oral hygiene is built on two principal tasks — daily brushing and flossing. Brushing removes plaque — a thin film of bacteria and food particles — from broad tooth surfaces. Flossing removes plaque between your teeth you can’t reach effectively with brushing. It takes both tasks to get the most disease prevention benefit from your daily cleaning.

Many people, though, have a hard time incorporating the latter of the two into their daily routine. This may be because manual flossing with string seems to require a bit more manual dexterity, although it can be mastered with proper training and practice. Some, though, may not possess the physical ability to adequately floss. It’s also difficult for individuals wearing orthodontic braces or other appliances that cover teeth.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative to string floss: oral irrigation. This method removes plaque from between teeth with pulsating water pressurized by either a handheld or countertop device known as an oral irrigator or water flosser, and emitted through a special nozzle directed at the teeth. Studies have shown it to be an effective means for controlling plaque.

As to you switching to a home water flosser, we’ll be happy to discuss if it’s a good option for you. We can also train you on effective techniques for string flossing if you don’t feel you’re doing it properly.

Whichever method you use, it’s important for you to floss daily to keep plaque under control between your teeth. Along with brushing and regular dental visits, it’s one of the best things you can do to ensure your teeth stay healthy and free of tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease.

If you would like more information on flossing, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cleaning Between Your Teeth.”