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The Importance of Flossing: An Overview for Students in a Dental Hygienist Program

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Graduates of dental hygienist courses will likely encounter plenty of clients who brush their teeth twice a day, regularly. However, many patients neglect to floss in between their teeth and gums, which is just as important as brushing.

Failing to floss regularly could very well lead to unpleasant oral hygiene issues like bad breath. Clients assuming that rinsing with mouthwash can serve as a substitute for flossing would be wrong, as flossing is responsible for removing bacteria responsible for a number of oral health problems, some more severe than others.

Below is a quick summation of why flossing is important for teeth and gums, which new dental hygienists can then turn to in order to promote good oral health in their patients.

Flossing is Important for Removing Plaque and Bacteria That Can Turn to Tartar

One of the important reasons why we brush and floss is to get rid of harmful plaque and other oral bacteria that can quickly harden and turn into thick tartar. Tartar manifests as a black substance, often appearing along the gum line of a tooth, and is almost impossible to completely remove with brushing or rinsing with mouthwash. Tartar is also particularly nasty because of how it can damage the enamel or root, leading to tooth decay and eventually tooth loss.

The only way to get rid of tartar is by having a dental hygienist or dentist remove it with a dental pick or scraper. This procedure can often be unpleasant for clients, requiring several minutes to scrape off layers of tartar, and can sometimes be painful when the pick is applied near the gums. Dental hygienist program graduates can remind patients that flossing can reduce the amount of tartar on their teeth, and make their visits to the dentist far more pleasant!

Graduates of Dental Hygienist Courses Know how Important Flossing is for Fighting Cavities

What dental patients may not know about plaque is that it can become acidic and eat away at their tooth enamel, which is what eventually leads to cavities. Serious decay can eventually reach the root and attack the nerve, which can be extremely painful.

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 The simple act of flossing can prevent cavities and other forms of tooth decay

In serious cases, this can lead to patients needing a root canal procedure, which requires a dentist to drill through the enamel and pulp to get to the root and nerve. For patients looking to avoid the dentist’s chair and drill, making sure to floss once a day could be a much easier – not to mention cheaper – alternative.

Flossing Regularly is Crucial to Preventing Gingivitis

Gingivitis is unpleasant for a number of reasons. One of the main causes of gingivitis is tartar, especially when it is located close to the patient’s gumline. The result is that bacteria from tartar enter into the gums, causing them to become inflamed and swollen.

As the gums swell, the spaces between them and the tooth increase, allowing for more bacteria and plaque to enter and borough down to the root and jaw bone, which can lead to more severe gum diseases. Bacteria in the gums are also what contribute to halitosis, which causes bad breath. Encouraging patients to floss more often when you become a dental hygienist can help to reduce and even reverse the effects of gingivitis for patients.

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 Get trained as a dental hygienist and promote flossing in your patients!

Are you interested in taking a dental hygienist course?

Contact Oxford College for more details.

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