The importance of flossing your teeth can not be understated. Even if you brush your teeth twice a day, you may still be missing those nooks and crannies between teeth that bristles often miss. However, even if you do floss, you should never be tempted to reuse a piece of floss. For starters, just imagine all those microscopic nasties that might still be lingering.
In fact, reusing floss can harm your oral health in more ways than one.
Reusing Floss Spreads Bacteria
Flossing can help to prevent gum disease. It does this because those tiny strands of floss are able to reach the deepest, darkest recesses that toothbrush bristles cannot. This helps prevent gum disease by cleaning away plaque before it can harden into tartar. Strands of floss also pick up chunks of food debris that might otherwise feed tooth decay-causing bacteria.
If you are pressed for time then, and choose to reuse a piece of floss you used a few hours earlier, you will be spreading bacteria. How is this harmful? Well, if you have gum disease in one area of your mouth, you could spread that bacteria to other parts of your mouth. You could even be spreading microscopic bits of food debris, a food source for bacteria.
In an Emergency, Sterilize the Floss
If there is no other option, for example, if you run out of floss and are unable to buy more, you can sterilize used floss. To sterilize a piece of used floss, soak it in saltwater for several hours. Salt kills bacterial organisms by drying them out, which is why gargling saltwater is so effective for mouth ulcers and abrasions.
However, floss is less effective when used multiple times, so try to use the same piece of floss just once.
Floss Can Be Reused in Other Ways
So reusing floss as floss is bad for your oral health. However, because of its strength, you can recycle in many other ways. For example, you could use it to hang baubles on your Christmas tree, hang pictures on the wall and even to sew buttons back on clothing. But make sure you sterilize it beforehand!
According to the Huffington Post Australia, only 5 percent of Australians regularly floss. This means that many Australians are putting themselves at risk of tooth decay and gum disease. If flossing isn't part of your hygiene routine, try to visit the dentist for a dental cleaning at least every 6 months. This could save you a lot of pain and expense in the long run.
As a mum, I know how essential sport can be to children's development. Through team sports like soccer, kids learn persistence, sportsmanship and the value of supporting their team members. However, all that learning carries some risk as well, and a stray elbow or a ball to the face can result in oral injuries. I have been the mum rushing to the emergency room with a precious permanent tooth sitting in a cup of milk. Admittedly, at the time, I wasn't even sure if the cup of milk was the right solution. As a parent, you will face those situations, and I'm here to make sure you know what to do when they pop up. With this blog, let's explore children's dentistry and sports injuries together... I want you to have the info you need to stay cool, calm and collected, regardless of how many teeth are on the pitch.