We’ve been told time and again by dentists all over, ever since our very first dental appointments, that flossing is equally important as brushing our teeth. So why is it that so many people forgo the floss? We take it as gospel that the standard procedure for proper dental care at home is to brush twice a day, so what is it that makes people believe that flossing isn’t as essential?
Sure, it’s fiddly, and it can take some time to get the hang of it, and it might even add a few extra minutes to your morning routine, but the facts are right in front of us: flossing is worth it, and here’s why.
It’s More Effective Than Just Brushing
While brushing your teeth twice a day isn’t hurting you, it’s not completely protecting you either. Toothbrushes work to physically remove the plaque from your teeth. Plaque is full of bacteria, so it goes without saying that removing it is necessary. The fluoride in your toothpaste also works to defeat the plaque in your mouth, but your toothbrush can only access so much of your mouth. It works great to remove plaque from the fronts and backs of your teeth – but what about in-between and underneath?
This is where floss comes in handy. Floss is able to squeeze between your teeth and in-between the bottom of your teeth and your gums to remove all the extra plaque that your toothbrush can’t reach, resulting in a mouth that is much healthier.
It Helps to Protect Your Gums
You might not be able to see it, but your gums are a breeding group for plaque and trapped particles of food. Without being properly cleaned, your gums become at risk. If plaque is left for too long, it can harden and become tartar – a hard substance that dentists will have to remove with a scraper.
If left to develop, tartar can cause gingivitis, which causes your gums to swell and turn red. This is the first stage of periodontitis – a severe gum disease that can result in you losing teeth. By flossing, you are helping your mouth to fight gum disease.
It Saves You Money in the Long Run
Gum disease and loss of teeth don’t come cheap – and neither do visits to the Emergency Room. It’s easy to be put off by the cost of regular dental check-ups, but the money you spend now will be saved later when your teeth continue to stay healthy and strong.
Regular dental check-ups also mean that you’ll be receiving frequent advice from your dentist about the best ways to look after your mouth – like how important it is to floss. It also means you’ll be well ahead of the curve when it comes to spotting and developing issues, and you’ll be able to get them fixed quickly before they become a painful and expensive problem.
It Helps to Prevent Diseases
We’ve already told you that being flimsy with your flossing habits can lead to periodontitis, which can cause painful gums and loss of teeth, but that’s not the end of it. Bad dental hygiene can also be a factor in many other diseases and illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory illnesses.
It’s not a nice thought, but heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the human race. A few minutes spent dedicated to flossing each day doesn’t sound like a high price to pay when it comes to your health.
It Prevents Build-Up In Your Teeth
The longer plaque is left to build up and go undisturbed, especially around your gums, the harder and more uncomfortable it is for you to remove it. When plaque first forms, it is soft and easy to remove with floss. Once it has been left to settle, it becomes tartar.
Just a couple of minutes spent flossing every day will prevent plaque building up and tartar forming, leaving you with a winning smile and a sparkling mouth.
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