Everyone knows that flossing is important, but how many people actually do it? Well, approximately 60% of adults don’t floss regularly. That may be because many people are unsure why they should floss and just how important it really is!
Flossing prevents gum disease
Flossing removes plaque from between teeth and under the gumline. If left unattended, this buildup can lead to gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), periodontitis (a more severe form of gum disease), and even tooth loss as well as increase your risk of various heart diseases like atherosclerosis and stroke.
You’ll have better breath
Another benefit of flossing is that it can help improve your breath. Food particles that get stuck between your teeth can cause bad breath, so removing them will go a long way in helping you breathe easier and taste better. If you’re not sure how to go about flossing, here are a few tips:
- Use floss with tapered ends for easy insertion into tight spaces between the teeth (like behind braces).
- Floss at night before going to sleep so bacteria doesn’t linger overnight in your mouth and wake up with bad breath or other dental issues.
You’ll prevent cavities between teeth
Flossing can remove food particles between teeth, which if not removed can become tartar which causes cavities. Flossing twice a day after brushing your teeth is the perfect way to build a habit that prevents cavities and tooth decay from forming.
Flossing will help protect your heart
You now know that flossing helps prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. But did you know that it also protects your heart? Here are some quick facts about the benefits of flossing:
- Heart disease: Research shows that people who don’t floss regularly are more likely to develop cardiovascular conditions later in life.
- Stroke: If you’ve had a stroke before, regular flossing can help keep your blood pressure low and reduce your risk of another one by 40%.
- Diabetes: When bacteria builds up between teeth and gums, it can cause inflammation that leads to diabetes. So by removing this bacterial buildup with flossing, it reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 80%.
- Alzheimer’s: The bacteria associated with plaque on our teeth may also be linked to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In fact, people who have gum disease have twice as much amyloid-beta — which makes up clumps of protein in AD brains — compared to those who don’t have gum disease! So keep those gums healthy by brushing and flossing regularly!
- Kidney Disease: Researchers found that the kidney filtration rate was lower among patients with poor dental hygiene compared to those who had good oral care practices like regular brushing and flossing.
Make flossing an essential part of your dental hygiene regimen.
Flossing should be an essential part of your dental hygiene regimen. Most people find it tedious and boring, but the benefits of flossing are worth the hassle. It’s recommended that you floss daily to prevent plaque and food from building up on your teeth and gums, which can lead to serious health problems down the road.
To get started, choose a type of floss that works best for you—there are several varieties available at most drug stores:
- Waxed or unwaxed
- Soft or regular stiffness
- For braces
Now that you know about the benefits of flossing, it’s up to you to decide if you’re going to add this habit to your life. It only takes a few minutes out of each day and provides so many advantages over simply brushing your teeth.
As long as you can be consistent with your dental hygiene regimen, then you will be able to enjoy a beautiful smile for years to come. If you need more information or advice on how to floss properly, contact the team at Litchfield Dental Associates today!