Although dentists have probably been telling you to floss every day since you were a little kid, there’s a good chance you still don’t do it. The latest statistics indicate that only 3 out of every 10 Americans floss every single day, while just 37% claim to floss occasionally. Meanwhile, over one-quarter of U.S. citizens reportedly never floss at all.
Although flossing is only one part of maintaining good oral hygiene, it is an important part. Combined with brushing your teeth, using American Dental Association-approved mouthwash, and scheduling regular cleaning and preventative care with a skilled dentist, flossing has major benefits for your mouth and beyond. In fact, flossing impacts your overall health in surprising ways.
Flossing Is More Effective with Brushing
While toothbrushes are designed to remove plaque, and toothpastes with fluoride can even get rid of bacteria, it’s impossible to completely clean between and under gums without flossing. By removing plaque and food from tight spaces, flossing clears the way for your toothbrush to scrub the rest of your teeth. Not only does this improve your teeth from a cosmetic perspective, it also allows the fluoride and other compounds in your toothpaste to clean your mouth more effectively. In this sense, while flossing or brushing alone is helpful for your teeth, doing one without the other is like only completing part of the job.
Flossing Reduces Bad Breath
That’s right. While you’d probably worry about your breath if you left the house without brushing, you should worry about how not flossing can affect mouth odor as well. Remember that flossing not only removes plaque, but pesky food particles that get stuck deep between your teeth. If left unattended, these food particles will undoubtedly begin to rot, making your breath smell foul.
Flossing Stops Tooth Decay
As you probably already know if you’ve ever had a cavity filled, sugary foods can damage your teeth, causing rot and decay that isn’t fixable without the assistance of a dentist. These foods are even worse for your teeth if they get stuck in your mouth for long periods of time, thereby leading to more cavities and other issues. Start flossing now if you want to prevent cavities and keep all your teeth.
Flossing Helps Your Braces
This is a pretty simple one. If you’ve had braces, you know how easy it is for food to get stuck in your teeth. Not only does this look unsightly, it hurts the equipment and leads to additional bacteria buildup. Make sure you’re getting all the food out of your teeth, not just what’s on the surface, with the aid of regular flossing.
Flossing Fights Tartar
Tartar is the hard form of plaque that builds up across the gum line. Many people think the only way to cut down on tartar is by visiting an oral health professional and having a dentist or hygienist scrape it from their teeth. Yet, what many people don’t know is that you can fight tartar buildup before even coming into the dentist’s office by flossing.
Plaque doesn’t harden into tarter right away. Since floss is designed to get rid of plaque in the gums while it’s still sticky, it’s therefore possible to significantly reduce the amount of tartar in your mouth by flossing out plaque while it’s still loosely formed. Sure, you’ll still need to come to the dentist’s office to scrape off tartar entirely, but your trip will be easier for everyone if you’re able to cut down on tartar beforehand!
Flossing Makes Your Gums Healthier
While most people tend to think chiefly about their teeth when attending to oral hygiene, maintaining healthy gums is just as important for having an overall healthy mouth. We’ve already established that flossing is essential for gum protection, because it reaches plaque that your toothbrush can’t get to and cuts down on the amount of tartar dentists have to remove. But did you know that too much tartar can also lead to gingivitis, a disease that leaves your gum line red and swollen?
Gingivitis is only the beginning for gum disease, however. If left unchecked, tartar and plaque can creep below your gum line, spreading bacteria deeper into your mouth. This can cause periodontitis, a serious gum condition that can lead to inflammation, damage your jaw, and cause tooth and bone loss.
With regular flossing, you’ll not only keep tartar in check, but avoid ever worrying about gingivitis or periodontitis.
Flossing Cuts Down on Dental Care Costs
The truth is that modern dental care is just as much about preventative oral hygiene measures as it is about treating any one specific issue. Flossing should be part of your larger dental regimen in order to avoid a host of possible problems in the future.
With strong dental health, you can avoid costly procedures. Also keep in mind that while many respectable dentists do accept insurance, many practices increasingly do not take insurance for expensive dental work. And with preventative care shown to statistically reduce dentistry costs overtime, there’s no reason to not begin flossing as soon as possible.
Flossing Can Help Prevent Disease
While the most evident benefits of flossing obviously remain the positive affects it has on your teeth and gums, many do not realize the benefits it has for the rest of your body, too. Research indicates that bacteria found in the mouth can spread, contributing to respiratory illness, diabetes, and heart disease. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has actually recommended higher oral hygiene standards for this very reason.
Call an Austell Dentist Today!
Have you been flossing, brushing and using ADA-approved mouthwash on a regular basis? Great, now all you need to do is schedule an appointment with a skilled Austell dentist! At Austell Dental Associates, we provide all the oral hygiene services you could need, from cleaning and prevention, to teeth whitening, to dental implants, to various forms of cosmetic dentistry, we are the dental professionals you can trust. For over 50 years, our friendly dentists and hygienists have been serving the Austell community for a fair price. Whether you want to make your teeth shine or just come in for a checkup, we’ve got you covered.
To speak to a dental associate, call (770) 467-3888 now, or contact us online.