Flossing plays a crucial role in oral health. Every time you go to the dentist, you’re probably asked, “Are you flossing regularly?” Most people will answer yes, but how many people answer that question truthfully? The fact of the matter is this; flossing is not given as much thought as brushing, and oral hygiene suffers for it.
The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends flossing at least once per day, along with brushing twice a day. Yet for most people, flossing rarely happens this often. This is partially due to the discomfort caused by threading a string between your teeth. While it’s natural for people to want to avoid discomfort, here’s the reality: the less you floss, the more painful it becomes when you start again, often causing bleeding in the gums.
Along with making flossing more comfortable for your gums, here are the numerous benefits of flossing, and why it should be part of your daily routine:
Two Oral Hygiene Tools Are Better Than One
Flossing and brushing together is much more effective than brushing alone. Brushing removes plaque (that nasty coating of bacteria), and toothpaste helps reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth. The only downside is that toothbrushes cannot reach between the teeth or under the gums. This is where flossing comes in. It’s designed to reach the tight spaces between teeth that brushes cannot reach. It’s usually recommended that you floss BEFORE you brush, as that will loosen the bacteria, making it easier for the toothbrush to do it’s job.
Gums protect the roots of your teeth, and need to be properly taken care of to avoid tooth and bone loss resulting from gum disease. Food particles consistently get stuck between teeth right where the gum line begins. Plaque in this area over time forms tartar, which can only be removed by a dentist’s scraper. This tartar buildup leads to gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Get flossing to avoid such miseries!
Save Money, Live Better
Dental care can be expensive, especially when you’re constantly setting up emergency appointments for mouth problems that could easily be avoided with proper home care. Taking that extra step of flossing daily is one easy way to keep your oral hygiene up and your cost of living down. That’s why you typically get a free toothbrush and box of floss after regular dental check-ups. It’s encouragement to stay healthy.
Research shows that gum disease can lead to other, more harmful diseases through the rest of the body, such as heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory illness. [source: CDC] If flossing can prevent the causes of gum disease, it can, by extension, help prevent a cause of heart disease. Daily flossing is a small price to pay in order to avoid such a risk. Even the smallest task can have big implication for your long-term health.
And that about covers it!
Did I forget to mention that floss is also effective in preventing bad breath? This is perhaps the most important reason of all. Don’t let halitosis ruin your social life. Start your daily flossing routine today!