What is the Importance of Dental Flossing?

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The definition of proper dental hygiene stops at brushing teeth for many people. While it is effective at getting rid of most of the food debris left in the mouth, there is still a substantial amount that is left behind. Brushing cleans only two surfaces; the top and outer surfaces. The tooth has five surfaces which means three surfaces are left untouched by brushing.

Dr. Rob Andrew says that flossing is the best option for effective cleaning between the teeth. While antibacterial mouthwash can kill bacteria between the teeth, it does not clean remove the hard coating (tartar) that can build up on teeth surfaces when food particles are cleaned off properly.

Decay prevention

Tooth decay has been observed even in people who brush regularly. This is because the unreached plaque between the teeth encourages growth of acid producing bacteria, and this acid attacks the teeth enamel. For people who brush but not floss, tooth decay has been seen to originate between the teeth.

Tartar can also build up at the point where the tooth meets the gum. If this is not scraped off or removed by flossing, it can lead to swelling of the gum which is also called gingivitis. When this condition goes unchecked, the tartar can get under the gum and can lead to periodontitis.  At severe stages, this leads to infection, tooth and jaw bone loss.

The Urban Smiles Family Dental clinic observes that flossing can also prevent onset of other diseases that come about due to the presence of harmful bacteria in the mouth. It has been seen that people who suffer from periodontitis are also at risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and respiratory complications.

More effective

When flossing is combined with brushing, dental hygiene is more effective. Flossing removes tartar between the teeth allowing fluoride in the toothpaste to reach more surface of the tooth. This allows the mineral to stop and reverse tooth decay.

More attractive

Flossing makes for a brighter and whiter smile. By combining brushing and flossing you will have teeth that are uniformly clean which makes your smile better. You look more attractive and welcoming.

By keeping your mouth clean, flossing ensures your breath is always fresh. This is important to keep the people around you comfortable.

Save money

By preventing serious mouth medical complications, you avoid spending a lot of money. Treating tooth decay or gum disease will easily cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Avoid this with regular flossing.

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Does your Child have Bad Breath?

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Bad breath in children is uncommon but still a problem for some children. Bad breath in a child usually points to a bigger problem. It can be as simple as a dry mouth or as serious as a lung abscess. Prolonged bad breath in a child that is not solved by swishing some water in the mouth or brushing should be looked into more closely.

Dr. Rob Andrew points out the common causes of bad breath;

Dry mouth

Saliva washes away food particles from the mouth. When the mouth is producing less than needed (xerostamia), bacteria can accumulate and lead to bad breath.

Poor dental hygiene

Kids need to brush and floss too. If this is not done regularly and properly, plaque accumulates on the teeth and gums. Bacteria grow on the tongue leading to bad breath. Kids should be taught to brush the teeth too.

Foreign objects

Kids especially those under three tend to stick all manner of objects in their noses. If there is something lodged in the nose, the kid will breathe through the mouth making it dry hence bad breath.


If your kid has a cold or allergy that is making the nose stuffy and blocked, she will try to breathe through the mouth drying it out. More serious illnesses like tonsillitis and lung abscesses can also make the child have bad breath if there is body tissue breaking down.


Strong odor can come from eating foods with strong smells like garlic or onions.


Ingestion of some poisons leaves telltale breath. This includes swallowing turpentine, cyanide, acetone, alcohol, phenol, and salicylate.  The kid’s breath will smell like acetone, bitter almonds or violets. This should signal an emergency and prompt a call to the emergency services.

Eliminating bad breath

  • Instilling good dental hygiene. Be a role model in dental hygiene. Show the child how to brush properly including brushing the tongue. Ensure the kid brushes at least twice a day with kid-friendly toothpaste.
  • Daily flossing to clean particles caught between the teeth.
  • Changing toothbrushes often for better brushing using sharp bristles.
  • Regular checkups by the dentists. Kid friendly dental clinics like Urban Smiles Family Dental will work on your kid without the child developing dental phobia.

Chronic halitosis

This is prolonged bad breath that is not eliminated by the means above.  The best thing is to have the kid looked into more closely the dentist.  Doing this early enough can prevent worsening of a bad condition for example tonsillitis.

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