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It is common for people to brush their teeth after main meals. However, when it comes to flossing, many “forget”. What many people don’t know is that the bad habit of neglecting it can cause a lot of damage, both to oral health and to the body in general, and can be a risk factor for stroke and myocardial infarction. Some people prefer not to floss cause sometimes it can hurt sensitive gums and teeth, but you have other options to floss that won’t hurt you, like water flosser.

The ideal is to floss after meals and, especially, before bed, as uninterrupted hours with your mouth closed contribute to the proliferation of bacteria. If there are food remains between the teeth, the situation only gets worse, which can lead to gum disease, such as gingivitis, which, in its more advanced stage, is called periodontal disease.

Gingivitis is characterized by bleeding gums and, in some cases, mild bad breath. In periodontal disease, halitosis becomes more pronounced and there may even be tooth mobility, even causing tooth loss. The problem, if not treated in a timely manner, usually compromises even the bones that serve as a support base for the teeth.

As the diseases are inflammatory and characterized by gum bleeding, there is a great risk of bacteria entering the bloodstream and lodging in cerebral or coronary arteries, causing interruption or malfunction of nutrition to the brain and heart, respectively. In addition to these problems, a disease called bacterial endocarditis – severe coronary disease – or even septicemia can develop, leading to the patient’s death.

The problems, despite being serious, can be treated and, above all, prevented. Good oral hygiene combined with periodic visits to the dentist – every 6 months – ensure oral health. Before brushing your teeth, you need to floss. The habit should be created from childhood, with baby teeth. The thread must be passed through all gingival grooves, up to the last tooth. For each one, a new part of the thread must be used.

When brushing, the dentist recommends soft-bristled brushes. There are several brushing techniques, which are recommended according to each patient. It is extremely important that all tooth surfaces are brushed. Brushing your teeth too hard can cause gum retraction and consequent tooth sensitivity. It’s best to pay attention to your dentist’s instructions.

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