Flossing is something that many people overlook when it comes to their oral health; they think that brushing their teeth and using mouthwash alone will suffice. When you go to the dentist, you are likely to be asked if you floss regularly; this is because so many people neglect to do so. In this article, we will explore the answer to the question “how important is flossing?”
How important is flossing?
There is more and more evidence that flossing your teeth can do more than just keep your mouth healthy; it can help keep your smile pretty as well. Many people who do not floss do not understand that flossing is one of the most crucial parts of your dental health. Unlike using only a toothbrush which only cleans the outer surfaces and the tops of your gums and teeth, flossing gets in between them.
Floss is designed to clean in between the tight spaces of your teeth and get into the gap in between the gums and the teeth. These are all areas that a toothbrush alone cannot get to. While your antimicrobial mouthwash may be able to kill plaque-forming bacteria, it cannot take away any bits of food or tartar in these areas.
Having a healthy mouth can stop serious diseases, a few of which are known to be life threatening according to the CDC. If you still aren’t sure that you should floss your teeth, check out the reasons why you should below.
Flossing and Brushing Are Better Than Only Brushing Alone
While brushing your teeth at least twice a day will help you maintain good oral health, it is not the only thing you should be doing. Brushing does not provide an optimal amount of cleaning like flossing does. A toothbrush only takes way the plaque on your teeth with the bristles. Toothpaste will help with this, and the types that have fluoride will help take away the bacteria in your mouth as well.
That said, there is a drawback to brushing your teeth, and that is the fact that these bristles cannot get between your teeth and cannot get under the gums. This is where you need to use floss. Floss is a tool that is designed specifically to take away the plaque in between your teeth and underneath the gums.
The American Dental Association says that flossing before you brush can make brushing more effective as well. With the plaque gone from between the teeth, the fluoride in your toothpaste is able to make it to more areas of the mouth.
Flossing Protects Your Gums, Too
Flossing can help protect your gums as well as your teeth. The places where the teeth meet the gums are where flossing is most important. Small pieces of food can get stuck in your teeth and cause plaque in this area to harden and turn into tartar over time. Tartar is hardened plaque that has not been removed with regular brushing and flossing that the dentist can remove with a special scraper; you cannot do it yourself.
Tartar can cause gingivitis. Gingivitis is where your gums get red and swollen and can bleed easily. This is the first stage of gum disease. If this goes without being treated, this can spread down below the gum line. When this happens, it causes periodontitis. This disease is a severe gum disease that is characterized by severe inflammation. This inflammation can eventually cause tooth and bone loss.
Floss is able to get into those small spaces between the gums and teeth. This way, you can remove the food before it becomes bacteria that could ultimately lead to devastating effects.
Flossing Can Save Money
While health care costs are on the rise, it is important to take the necessary steps to reduce your expenses when it comes to medical and dental work. Taking care of your teeth now can prevent a lot of money being spent in the years to come.
Studies have been done on the cost of dental care for kids who have their inaugural dental checkups before they turn one, versus the kids who have them after that age. On their fifth birthday, the children in the first group saw that their dental costs were 40 percent lower than the second group.
Researchers also found that in those who rely on emergency room treatments opposed to doctor visits, the cost for dental work can be nearly 10 times as much as a regular checkup in any period of time.
One of the reasons that the costs are saved during these visits is that the education patients receive help encourage their patients to floss and brush daily. Professional dental procedures and tools are advanced and can help fix some severe medical problems right away.
Flossing Helps Prevent Other Disease
Gum and tooth disease have negative effects that stretch well beyond discomfort, yellowed teeth or bad breath. In fact, research has shown that any bacteria in your unhealthy mouth can hurt the rest of your body as well. Untreated diseases of the mouth can lead to diabetes, heart disease and respiratory issues.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America. More than 25 million Americans also have diabetes. If periodontal disease, which is a disease of the gums and teeth, can contribute to these diseases, then it is important to do your part to prevent them. All that it takes is brushing your teeth when you are supposed to and flossing them as well.
In this article, we have examined the reasons why flossing is an important part of your oral hygiene. There are a number of benefits to flossing when you’re supposed to. You can prevent diseases and enjoy life to the fullest by taking care of your mouth.
Do you floss regularly? If not, do you think that you will begin flossing now after reading this? Explain why or why not in the comments section below.