Your day is busy, and if you are like most of us, you look to cut corners where you can to buy even just a few extra seconds in your day. So it’s no surprise that you might have found yourself standing in front of the mirror in the morning wondering, “Is flossing really all that important?”
The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” But why is that? That’s what we’ll be talking about today.
The Importance of Flossing
Brushing your teeth is vital, and it goes a long way towards keeping your teeth and gums healthy. But it also has its limitations. When it comes to the nooks and crannies of the teeth, even the best toothbrush is going to struggle to get in there and knock the build-up and food particles loose.
Dental floss gets between the teeth and up around the gum line to remove plaque and tartar. This helps reduce the likelihood of gum irritation, which eventually progresses into gum disease. It also stops acids from eating away at the enamel, weakening the teeth and leading to tooth decay—or even tooth loss.
The effects don’t end with your oral health, either. Bacteria that gets into the gums then enters the bloodstream, allowing them to reach other parts of the body. We now know that there is a connection between gum disease and heart conditions, and between it and diabetes, too.
How Often Should You Floss?
The American Dental Association suggests you floss your teeth once per day. However, this can vary between individuals. For example, if you use aligners or retainers, you might want to floss every time you put them in, even if this means flossing 2-3 times per day. Just remember to be gentle around your gums if this is the case.
Key Benefits of Flossing
Not quite convinced that you need to be strict about flossing as part of your daily routine? Maybe these benefits will convince you!
- Flossing improves the appearance of your teeth. By removing tartar and plaque, it helps stop stains from developing along the edges of the teeth.
- Flossing keeps the gums healthy, reducing the likelihood of gum disease and the associated bone loss from developing. This positions you to keep your natural teeth even as you age.
- Flossing supports your overall health, lowering your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.
- Flossing eliminates smelly bacteria, which makes it easier to keep your breath fresh all day long.