Even if you keep on top of your oral hygiene and brush regularly, there is always a chance that you will run into issues – and part of this will be because you haven’t been flossing as much as you should. Perhaps you’ve done it for years or even decades without noticing any significant benefit, but any issues you experience now could be because you stopped flossing.
How Often Should You Floss?
Some people only floss in specific circumstances, such as when they have food stuck in their teeth that they need to get rid of. You should be flossing more than this, in fact, you should be flossing once a day. You may miss it if you have a fast-paced lifestyle as many of us do, but you have to make the time, especially as it only takes an extra two minutes.
Signs That You’re Not Flossing Enough
If you are not flossing enough, there are several key signs to look out for. A potentially obvious one is that your gums may start bleeding from any significant pressure, even if you brush them regularly because there can still be a build-up of bacteria and acid which your brush cannot reach. This might make itself evident during a dental cleaning or even just from the nearby pressure of your brushing.
In addition, even a vigorous brusher can find their teeth stained from tartar and plaque if they avoid regularly flossing. You might think that mouthwash takes care of this, but some stains and bad breath can only be truly quashed by a regular flossing schedule. Many people do not know how to floss properly, but it is never too late to learn.
When Should You Start Flossing?
Even if you have never flossed before, you can start doing it no matter your age and reap the benefits. Even if you don’t currently have any oral problems, flossing is essential. It’s important to note that flossing could make your gums bleed, but this is normal if it has been a while since you last flossed. The bleeding only becomes a problem if it persists after you begin regularly flossing.
If you have gaps in your teeth for any reason, that does not have to stop you – there will still be at least some bacteria which your toothbrush did not catch that you still need to remove. Implants, as well as dentures and other replacements, should also be flossed because any bacteria within could infect your other teeth.
No matter your age or circumstance, flossing is the only way to definitively protect against certain dental issues, and your teeth will thank you – it is better to have invisible benefits than visible tooth decay.