Fact one: Flossing is more important than brushing your teeth when it comes to preventing gum disease and tooth loss.
Fact two: Your Invisalign treatment becomes pointless if your teeth fall out.
When it comes to hygiene habits, flossing ranks extremely high — yet, a recent study released by the American Dental Association showed that only 50.5 percent of Americans floss daily and 18.5 percent don’t bother to floss at all
Flossing isn’t just about removing visible chunks of food — it’s also about getting rid of plaque, the film of bacteria that forms on teeth. Over time, this bacteria will produce acids that will destroy tooth enamel and develop on the roots under your gums to break down the bone supporting your teeth. So in short — if you don’t floss thoroughly, you can develop periodontitis, gingivitis, halitosis (bad breath) and eventually lose your teeth.
Even more horrifying news — since Invisalign is form fitted, food particles and plaque can get trapped inside your aligners, increasing your overall risk for dental problems down the road.
Ideally, you should floss after every meal to ensure a clean mouth before you place your aligners back in your mouth, but at the very least, floss once a day.
So, how does one properly floss?
- Start with about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two to work with
- Hold it taut and slide it gently up and down between your teeth
- Curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure to go beneath the gum line
- Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth
If this isn’t enough to convince you to floss daily to make sure your teeth are gleaming after treatment, then just refer to the ol’ dentist adage:
Only floss the teeth you want to keep.