The Benefits of Flossing Your Teeth
Regular use of dental floss removes plaque, helping to prevent the buildup of plaque, which can lead to tartar. Simply flossing your teeth can make them look brighter by removing plaque and excess food particles that you may not see in the mirror or in areas that your toothbrush doesn’t reach.
Think of a carpet before and after you vacuum. You may not really see the dust and dirt, but once you vacuum and the dust and dirt is removed, the carpet looks brighter. The same principle applies to flossing.
Daily flossing doesn’t just keep your teeth healthy—practicing good oral hygiene contributes to your health in other ways, too.
In fact, there’s an increasing amount of evidence linking periodontal disease to an increased risk of heart disease, although more studies are needed to confirm this link. Some researchers think that mouth infections, like any infections, can increase the levels of inflammatory substances in the blood, which can promote blood clots and slow blood flow to the heart. Another theory is that bacteria from a mouth infection can easily enter the bloodstream and impact your cardiovascular system.
It also helps prevent tooth decay and can reduce your risk of developing gum disease by removing plaque.
In addition, flossing gives you the opportunity to regularly examine your mouth for any swelling or redness. Flossing gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your teeth, tongue, and gums. Certain conditions including some cancers, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse and eating disorders can cause lesions in your mouth and redness and swelling of the gums.
How Does Flossing Help Your Gums?
While periodontal disease is not the primary cause for pulpal death, chronically unhealthy gums can increase your risk of losing your teeth or needing a root canal. And even though twice-daily tooth brushing is essential for good oral hygiene, brushing alone may not protect you from gum disease and the tooth loss that can result.
Many people who suffer from sensitive or bleeding gums may be tempted to avoid flossing for fear of making their bleeding gums worse. But in fact, flossing can improve the health of your gums, thereby helping to prevent them from bleeding.
In a 2006 study, researchers compared the effects of brushing alone vs. brushing and flossing on bleeding gums in 51 sets of twins. One of each twin pair brushed his or her teeth twice a day and the other brushed and flossed twice a day. After two weeks, the twins who flossed had 38 percent fewer bleeding gum areas. Even if you were inconsistent about flossing during your childhood or teen years, it’s never too late to start or maintain good oral hygiene, and you can improve the health of your gums with the right floss product.
It’s a fact, flossing daily (combined with brushing and a rinse) helps protect against gingivitis by removing plaque and food particles, keeping your teeth and gums healthy, while giving you a beautiful smile. Flossing is essential to your smile’s health, no matter what your age. And yes, even kids should floss to get used to a healthy oral care routine. You might be asking, “Why is flossing so important?”
Here’s the answer: By flossing, you remove plaque and food particles in between your teeth and gums, and help prevent gingivitis.
Floss vs. Gum Disease
On average, one in eight adults in the United States has some form of gum disease. And it’s not just older people. Gum disease can start at a very early age, especially if you don’t have a proper oral care routine, which includes flossing every day.
Flossing and Gingivitis
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. It is also the most treatable. Flossing is a step to keeping your gums healthy.
Smart Prevention Starts with Floss
It’s actually pretty simple—flossing is a step that can help prevent the signs and symptoms of gingivitis by removing plaque. Combined with brushing and using a rinse daily, you could keep your smile healthy and beautiful for life.
Benefits of Flossing After Eating
Losing weight can be tough. And while there’s no study or direct evidence that links dental health to successful dieting, there is anecdotal evidence to support the idea that brushing and flossing after eating can make you less tempted to snack.
It’s not always convenient to brush your teeth in the middle of the day. But even flossing after a meal can help promote good dental hygiene and also make your mouth feel cleaner, regardless of whether you’re trying to lose weight or just avoid mid-afternoon munchies.
When you do reach for a healthy snack, keep in mind that some popular choices, like pretzels or raisins and other dried fruits, are good for your health but have a tendency to stick between your teeth. Dried fruits are also high in sugar, which can cause tooth decay along with bacteria. Fortunately, flossing can help keep your teeth clean so you don’t undermine your healthy efforts with a cavity at your next checkup.
No matter what type of diet you’re following, you can keep your mouth and teeth looking and feeling great by following a regular oral care routine of twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing.
Does A Dental Condition Prevent You from Flossing?
Daily flossing is an important component of plaque removal, but it’s one that many people avoid because they find flossing painful. But the right flossing products can make flossing easy and painless.
Many people think that standard dental floss is the only effective product for tooth flossing. But there are many products to meet the needs of people of all ages with any type of dental condition. If one of these conditions applies to you, consider some specialized flossing options:
- You have sensitive gums. If you have sensitive teeth and gums that bleed easily, choose a soft floss that slides easily and comfortably between the teeth.
- You have braces. If you wear braces or have dentures, that doesn’t mean that you can’t floss. Try a specialized floss that has a stiff end that you can thread beneath the main wire of your braces and a spongy component that slides easily between the teeth.
- You have a child. It’s important to teach children the benefits of flossing at a young age. You can start teaching children to floss their teeth at about age 5-7 years, but many children are less than enthusiastic, and they may complain that flossing hurts or is difficult.
- You have difficulty manipulating floss. Try an electric flosser. An electric flosser is neat and easy, especially if you don’t like reaching into the back of your mouth. And an electric flosser provides the right amount of pressure to leave your gums feeling pleasantly stimulated.
Article originally appeared at: https://www.oralb.ca/
Author: Oral B