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Is This the Way to a Healthier Mouth?

Family Dentistry Methuen MABecause we know the consequences of poor oral health, many of us are very mindful about how we take care of our teeth. We brush every morning before we start the day, and once again before we retire to bed for the night. The manner in which oral care is conducted is integral to how long we keep our healthy smile. According to research, unhealthy gums could be a precursor not only to tooth loss but also to some potentially chronic and serious health conditions. With that in mind, we want to circle back to the idea of oral care, but maybe not in the way you may expect.

Flossing for Optimal Health

Is this exactly what you expected? Probably. But keep with us here. Dentists advise flossing because it is this activity that removes debris from the spaces in between teeth. There is no way to do this with tooth-brushing alone. If debris lingers in these hard-to-reach places for even a 24-hour period, plaque forms. Plaque is the insidious biofilm that leads to cavities, inflammation, and infection – all the things that cause pain in your mouth. Because of plaque forms within a day, we are encouraged to make sure debris is removed from every area of the mouth on a daily basis. Which means flossing is a must.

Researchers estimate that approximately 80% of Americans will develop gum disease at some time.

When you read that statistic, you can see that there may be a teeny problem with the amount of flossing that is going on in this country. As easy as it seems to be, and as necessary, flossing just doesn’t get done consistently enough to put an end to the gum disease epidemic. There may be a way to increase your power against this condition.

Water for a Cleaner Mouth

Dentists tend to recommend manual flossing above all else. However, if using a thread and fingers is difficult due to stiffness or pain in the hands or fingers, chances are flossing will be skipped. People who just don’t like to floss, or those who wear braces, may also skip this activity. In such instances, we may suggest using a Waterpik to thoroughly cleanse the mouth.

Oral irrigation using water may not be as effective as flossing with string. On the other hand, it is more effective than nothing, and there may also be ways to enhance results. Talk with your dentist about flossing using a Waterpik during your next visit to our Methuen or Windham office.