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Experts of general dentistry agree that dental hygiene is closely correlated to one’s overall health.  Frequent brushing and use of antibacterial mouthwashes can help eliminate the harmful germs that grow in the mouth and damage teeth and gums.  The act of flossing is, however, the only way to remove harmful microorganisms contained in the plaque, which forms between teeth.  The American Dental Association recommends brushing teeth several times a day and flossing at least once daily to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

Here are just some of the general dentistry conditions that can be prevented by flossing regularly:

Tooth decay 

When bacteria in the mouth combine with food, the result is a formation of plaque that sticks to teeth.  If not removed, acids begin to break down tooth enamel, creating holes (cavities).


Halitosis is the general dentistry term for bad breath, often a result of poor dental habits.  Eating certain foods, like onions or garlic, most often cause Halitosis, but if bad breath persists, it may be sign of an underlying health concern.

Gum Disease

Plaque, if not removed, becomes a material called tartar.  Tartar irritates the gums and results in gum disease such as gingivitis and periodontitis.

Risk of Heart Disease

Medical studies have found a definite link between periodontal disease and risk factors for heart disease. Those with gum disease are more likely to suffer from heart problems than those without periodontal disease.

Complications of Diabetes

People with diabetes are more susceptible to infection, therefore it is important for diabetics to brush and floss at least twice a day to prevent bacteria from causing serious infections.

How to Floss for Healthy Gums

Flossing is the best way to have healthy gums and teeth.  To get the maximum benefits follow these general dentistry steps:

-Take about a yard-long piece of floss and wind it around the fingers and hold tightly with index finger and thumb

-Slide floss gently and deeply between teeth

-Carefully run the floss underneath the gums of each tooth

-Remove the floss by pulling the floss slowly up and away from the teeth

Remember, it only takes a few minutes a day to floss the teeth and gums, and the reward for good dental habits is a healthier and brighter smile.