Written on Sunday, May 31, 2020
Why floss your teeth daily?
As you learn from the dentist and in health class at school, it is important to floss your teeth daily. But why is this so important?
First and foremost, regularly flossing your teeth removes plaque. This keeps more plaque from building up and hardening between teeth and at your gum line. Removing all of the food particles and plaque from your teeth actually makes your smile appear brighter. Flossing also reaches where your toothbrush cannot.
Besides these reasons to floss your teeth daily, more exist. Doing so benefits your health in many ways. These include:
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Prevents tooth decay
- Reduces risk of gum disease
- Helps you find signs of swelling, redness, bleeding or infection
- Helps keep your breath fresh
If you floss daily, you enjoy better gum health.
Unhealthy gums increase your risk of tooth decay and tooth loss. If you suffer gum disease, you can also soon need a root canal. Periodontal disease, also known as simply gum disease, occurs when plaque builds up at the gum line. But you remove much more of this plaque when you floss your teeth daily, when compared to just brushing, alone.
Sometimes when gums bleed or feel sensitive, it is easy to neglect your flossing routine. But you should likely not skip a day, even when you suffer these symptoms. Flossing actually improves gum health and prevents bleeding by removing plaque and food particles. One in eight American adults suffers gum disease. Most have this condition because they floss their teeth daily.
When you floss your teeth daily, do so after eating.
It often feels inconvenient to stop doing other things to floss your teeth daily. But doing so after your daily meals and when you brush your teeth at night easily becomes a part of an evening routine. As a result, you enjoy better dental hygiene. You also have a cleaner feeling mouth.
Some foods get stuck between teeth and cause greater plaque build-up than others. Among these foods are raisins, pretzels, chips, dried fruits and candies. Each of these have high starch or sugar content. Starch and sugar linger with the food debris between teeth and cause more plaque. Without flossing to remove this food and plaque, you risk getting more cavities.
Avoid reasons to skip flossing your teeth daily.
People give their dentists many excuses for not flossing daily. You should try to avoid these reasons to not floss your teeth daily, whenever possible. After all, flossing takes only a few minutes out of your routine and easily integrates into your toothbrushing routine.
Common excuses for not flossing daily include:
- I was traveling. Dental floss is one of the smallest and lightest of your personal hygiene needs. It fits anywhere in a suitcase, pocket or handbag and using it requires only a few minutes each day.
- I have sensitive gums. Gum and tooth sensitivity or gum bleeding often improves with use of a soft dental floss. Find a soft floss at your dentist’s office or local drug store. Choose one with wax to easily glide between your teeth.
- I have braces or dentures. Having braces or dentures is no reason to neglect flossing your teeth. Ask your dentist about specialized floss with stiff ends to thread between braces wires. This floss has a spongy feeling to it, making it slide easily.
- I am taking care of children. Children need to follow the same rule of, “Floss your teeth daily.” Start teaching them at age five to seven. When they see you floss your teeth daily, they follow your example in life.
- I cannot get the floss to work right. If you struggle with the fine hand movements required to floss, try using floss picks or an electric flosser.
Talk to Your Dentist About Flossing…
Whether you find yourself neglecting to floss your teeth daily or struggle to properly do so, your dentist can help. Talk to them about daily flossing and other dental needs. With two locations in Raleigh and one in Goldsboro, NC, the dentists at Carolina Dental Arts want to help you make flossing a part of your daily routine. Schedule your next visit today.