When you visit the dentist, your dentist probably asks you if you floss your teeth regularly. You may tell them the truth, or if you’re like the vast majority of the population, you say yes. During your cleaning, the dentist flosses your teeth and this is where the truth actually comes out. Dentists can always tell if you actually floss your teeth or not, and while they will reiterate that flossing is something that you should be doing, it’s important to understand why. In this blog post, we will be discussing the true importance of flossing so that the next time your dentist asks if you floss, you can confidently say yes! Keep reading to learn more!
What are the benefits of flossing your teeth?
Regular use of dental floss removes plaque, which helps to prevent the buildup of plaque that can then lead to tartar. Simply flossing your teeth can make them look brighter because they remove plaque and excess food particles that may be stuck in your teeth. Floss gets deeper into the tooth than regular brushing does, which is why your dentist tells you to brush and floss. Think of it like shampoo and conditioner: you need both to get the job done. Using one without the other doesn’t fully clean your hair, and if you only use one, it doesn’t give you the same result as using both. The same goes for flossing: you need both to get the best clean.
Daily flossing gives you clean teeth that help increase your oral health, but flossing also contributes to your health in many other ways. There has been an increasing amount of evidence that has linked periodontal disease to an increased risk of heart disease. While more studies are needed in order to confirm this, some researchers believe that mouth infections, like any infection, can increase the levels of inflammatory substances in the blood that can promote blood clots and slow blood flow into the heart. Another theory is that bacteria from a mouth infection can easily enter the bloodstream and then impact your cardiovascular system from there.
Flossing also prevents tooth decay, which is one of the most common oral health issues. In our last blog post, we discussed the dangers of tooth decay, click here to read more.
In addition to all of this, flossing also gives you the opportunity to regularly examine your own mouth for any swelling or redness. Flossing helps you become more acquainted with your gums, teeth, and tongue. Noticing any redness or swelling in the mouth is very important since there are certain diseases that have mouth swelling as a symptom. Conditions like certain cancers, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, and eating disorders can all cause lesions in the mouth and redness and swelling of the gums.
Flossing Helps Your Gums
Chronically unhealthy gums can increase your risk of losing teeth or needing a root canal. Twice a day brushing is great but it doesn’t fully protect you from gum disease and tooth loss that might occur.
If you’re someone who has sensitive or bleeding gums, you may be tempted to avoid flossing. It’s understandable; however, flossing can actually help improve the health of your gums, which can then help prevent them from bleeding. Over time, flossing helps rid your body of gum disease.
Combining brushing and flossing helps protect against gingivitis by removing plaque and food particles, keeping your gums and teeth healthy, all while giving you a beautiful smile. Flossing is essential for your smile’s health, no matter what your age is. Encouraging your children to floss and starting them on this healthy habit at a young age is extremely important.
Flossing After Eating
Flossing after you eat is one of the best ways to ensure that your teeth are as clean as they possibly can be. When you eat, due to chewing, food particles get stuck in your teeth and around your gums. Flossing gets rid of that food which can sit and collect bacteria that can lead to further problems.
Flossing after you eat has also been shown to decrease a person's desire to snack. So if you’re trying to lose weight or just cut back on the junk food, flossing after a meal may help prevent you from doing so. Now, we’re not saying that flossing alone will help you lose weight, but it can help combat those pesky cravings.
No matter what type of food you eat, it’s probably going to get stuck in your teeth. No matter if they’re healthy or not, some foods have a tendency to get stuck more than others. Popcorn, corn, and other types of foods are notorious for getting your teeth, and while you may be inclined to floss only after consuming these foods, you might want to floss in between every meal and snack. Flossing gets rid of the food and the bacteria that may be sitting in your mouth due to that food.
Now that we’ve gone over why flossing is so important, it’s time to implement that into your life. Just like anything, taking baby steps towards making it a better habit is always a great option. Keep floss picks in your car, at your desk, and in your bathroom as a reminder to floss. Starting out small by flossing once a day, preferably before you go to bed, is another great option.
At Luxe Dental Spa in Oakhurst, we want to help preserve and give you the beautiful smile that you deserve. No matter what your dental needs are, we are here for you. We also know that going to the dentist can be a scary and intimidating experience, which is why we take the time to understand our patients and create a safe environment for them. From standard cleanings to more cosmetic services, we do it all! If you’re a new patient, click here to fill out our new patient forms and contact us today to schedule an appointment! We look forward to seeing your smile!