According to a nationwide survey, only 30 percent of the U.S. population flosses their teeth daily. Another 37 percent flosses sometimes, while the remainder say they never floss. Are you in one of the latter two categories? If so, you should pause to think about how your aversion to flossing might be affecting your oral health — and how a change in your habits could benefit you. Let’s talk about some of the most outstanding benefits of flossing.
Fight Dental Decay
Your toothbrush does a great job of cleaning your teeth — but not the entirety of your teeth. Its bristles cannot reach into the tight spaces between your teeth, which means that the enamel there is bound to collect bacteria and plaque. Flossing every day can get rid of that plaque before it hardens into tartar and causes permanent damage to your teeth.
If you neglect flossing for long enough, a cavity between your teeth could worsen to the point where a simple filling is not enough to treat it. You may need extensive dental treatment for your smile to regain its optimal function. Individuals with misaligned teeth, which are particularly prone to collect harmful substances between them, are at an increased risk of experiencing this type of problem.
Prevent Gum Disease
Plaque and bacteria do more than lead to cavities. They are also major contributing factors to gum disease. Flossing, therefore, protects your gums. And since gum disease has been associated with some major overall health risks (such as heart disease and stroke), flossing can actually play a big role in promoting your overall well-being.
“But what if flossing makes my gums bleed?” you might ask. That’s a subject for you and your dentist to discuss. It is possible that you already have a mild form of gum disease. Or, may just need to adjust your flossing habits. Your dentist can help you determine the cause of the bleeding and offer a solution.
Enjoy Fresher Breath and a Brighter Smile
When food gets stuck between your teeth, it may start to cause odors as bacteria break it down. Removing those little leftover food particles can play a big role in helping you enjoy fresher breath. Also, since plaque and dental decay can dull your smile’s appearance, flossing can help to prevent stains on the edges of your teeth.
Overcoming Challenges to Flossing
Clearly, flossing should be a non-negotiable part of your oral hygiene routine. But what if you aren’t sure how to floss, you find it uncomfortable, or you don’t know which products to use? Your dentist and/or dental hygienist can provide personalized guidance to help you out. Hopefully, it won’t be long before you are a dedicated daily flosser.
About the Author
Dr. Paresh B. Patel is an award-winning dentist in Frisco with over 25 years of experience in his field. If you are concerned about your dental health, or you would like guidance on how to improve your oral hygiene routine, Dr. Patel would be happy to help. Contact our office today at 469-362-3150 to learn more about our practice and our services.