Do you floss every day?
If not, you’re far from alone. Most people hate flossing—and will try to avoid it at all costs. According to a 2014 survey, just 4 in 10 American adults floss their teeth daily—and 20% never floss at all! While it’s tempting to accept the truth and say you floss more than you do when you’re sitting in the dentist chair, don’t try to deny it… your dentist can tell! Aside from avoiding an embarrassing moment at the dentist’s office, however, there are some other fantastic benefits to flossing.
Here are some benefits from flossing!
- Reduces your risk of gum disease – There are many health problems associated with gum disease if left untreated: loose or missing teeth, bleeding, inflamed gums, bone loss, and other oral health problems. Bacteria that enters the bloodstream causes other problems, and has even been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. Flossing can help prevent the plaque buildup that irritates the gums and leads to gum disease over time. Combined with twice daily brushing and regular professional cleanings, flossing is a great way to help prevent gum disease.
- Plaque removal – Brushing removes the plaque from the surface of the teeth, but it can’t reach the plaque hidden in the nooks and crannies between the teeth. Over time, that plaque hardens and turns into tartar, which can cause tooth decay, cavities, and gum inflammation.
- Fresher breath – Plaque holds bacteria, which doesn’t do your breath any favors. Flossing removes more plaque from your mouth than brushing alone, which can help keep your mouth fresher and cleaner.
- Fever cavities – Most people don’t get through life without a few cavities, but flossing is a great tool for making them less likely. Plaque between the teeth can cause cavities, since the toothbrush can’t reach those small spaces… floss can!
- Reduced risk for diabetes and heart disease – When you think about flossing like this, it becomes a no-brainer. While flossing doesn’t directly prevent these serious diseases, its role in gum health can become important for reducing risks of heart disease and diabetes. Periodontal (gum) disease has been linked to both conditions, due to inflammation in the gums, so pick up your floss and keep those gums healthy!
Now get to flossing!