We know we sound like a broken record by saying… “Make sure you floss your teeth at least once a day!” However, the truth is that only about 50% of people floss daily and our hunch is that in reality, it is a lot less. Flossing takes less than 1 minute and is paramount to your overall oral health.
4 Reasons to Floss Your Teeth Daily
- A combination of brushing and flossing will always be more effective than only brushing. Flossing removes food and debris from between your teeth that your toothbrush may not be able to reach. In fact, you should floss prior to brushing. This will allow the trapped particles between your teeth to be released allowing toothpaste to reach those tight areas when brushing immediately after.
- Flossing protects your gums, too! One of the most commonly misunderstood parts of oral hygiene is that gingival health is just as important as being cavity free. When you are not flossing, the soft plaque between your teeth will slowly turn into tartar. Tartar is stiff, bacteria laden and when in contact with your gingiva it can lead to red, swollen gums that bleed easily (gingivitis). This is due to the inflammatory response of your immune system caused by the bacteria. If left unchecked, this inflammatory response can lead to the destruction of the periodontal ligament and surrounding bone (periodontitis) – which could lead to eventual tooth loss.
- Flossing also saves you money! Good preventative care will decrease the chances of needing more complex dental work in the future.
- A good flossing technique can have a positive impact on your overall health. In simplest terms, by reducing the inflammation in your mouth with flossing, you are decreasing the amount of inflammatory factors in your bloodstream. High levels of systemic inflammation have been associated with heart disease, arthritis, allergies, as well as many other conditions!
What Should I Use to Floss My Teeth?
Waxed floss, unwaxed floss, floss pick, Waterpik – Each of these techniques work! The main goal is to get between each of your teeth at least once daily. You may notice your gums are bleeding the first week or so of flossing. This is not a reason to stop! Bleeding is caused by the inflammation and this will only go away after you establish a good oral hygiene regimen with routine flossing.
How do I Floss My Teeth?
A simple google search of the flossing device you use will yield a wealth of information on proper techniques.