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Daily flossing doesn’t just keep your teeth and gums healthy, it also keeps your breath great. At Something to Smile About, Dr. Kevin Boulard teaches his patients in Merrimack, NH the most effective ways to care for their teeth at home. There is evidence that periodontal disease can increase someone’s risk of heart disease, stroke, and, of course, tooth decay. This makes having an efficient oral hygiene routine at home with brushing and flossing important.

What happens if I don’t floss?

Unhealthy gums can increase your risk of needing a root canal or even losing your teeth. While brushing at least twice a day is important, brushing alone cannot protect you from developing gum disease. For those who suffer from bleeding or sensitive gums, you may think you should avoid flossing altogether. However, if you don’t floss, you will allow plaque and tartar to accumulate, which can lead to the earliest stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis.

Every patient of Dr. Boulard’s should be flossing at least once daily. It doesn’t matter when you do it, as long as you do it. Many people suffer from bad breath in the morning, making it a great time to start your oral hygiene routine each day. Also, if you have kids, they need to floss too. Start flossing as soon as your child has two teeth that touch. Be as gentle as you can so you don’t damage any tissue between their teeth.

How flossing improves your breath

Flossing improves the breath by removing food particles and bacteria that directly contribute to it. This makes flossing one of the easiest ways to prevent and keep your breath fresh. Halitosis is more common in Merrimack, NH than most people realize. Many people joke about it, but it can be a serious oral health problem. Bad breath is more than just embarrassing, it is also a signal of illness or disease.

Causes of bad breath

There are many reasons associated with bad breath other than a poor oral hygiene routine, including:

Decreased saliva production: Less saliva makes your mouth more susceptible to plaque buildup, which can lead to bad breath. This can be caused by sleep apnea. Dr. Boulard offers sleep apnea treatment options that can benefit his patients’ overall health.

Dehydration: When you’re dehydrated, you don’t have as much saliva, which can increase bacterial buildup.

Skipping meals: If you’re skipping meals, you may not have enough saliva in your mouth, which increases as you chew, so have regular meals throughout the day.

Alcohol: Alcoholic beverages promote a dry mouth and can lead to bad breath. Always floss after a night of drinking to prevent early morning halitosis.

How to floss correctly

To floss the most efficiently, Dr. Boulard suggests:

  • Breaking off about 24 inches of floss (or use a floss pick). Hold the floss with most of the floss around both of the middle fingers. Leave only about an inch or two for the teeth being treated.

  • Hold the floss tight while placing the floss or floss pick between the two teeth. Gently glide it up and down, rubbing against the sides of the tooth. Never glide it into the gums.

  • Curve the floss or floss pick at the base of the tooth in a C shape, which allows it to enter between the gums and the tooth.

  • Continue until all teeth have been cleaned.

Learn more on how flossing helps with bad breath

Flossing helps to remove food particles and harmful bacteria that, when left in place, can lead to periodontal disease, receding gums, and tooth loss. Ultimately, the connection between gum disease and oral hygiene is clear. General and cosmetic dentist, and owner of Something to Smile About Dr. Kevin Boulard discusses oral hygiene with every patient at his Merrimack, NH office. Good oral hygiene includes both daily brushing and flossing. While this alone cannot keep your teeth and gums healthy, in combination with regular dental exams and routine dental cleanings, you can rest assured your oral health is at its best. Call today to schedule an appointment with our professional team.

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