When you ask people about brushing their teeth, they will unanimously agree with you that it is essential in the pursuit of good oral hygiene. Flossing, on the other hand, doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. A study on flossing was conducted in 2016 by medical epidemiologist, Dr. Duong Nguyen and it revealed some startling results.
He discovered that only 37% of Americans floss semi-regularly and only 30% floss on a daily basis. As a dental office, hearing those numbers is a tough pill to swallow.
Flossing has been shown to benefit many aspects of your oral hygiene and overall health. The findings on how flossing is directly linked to everything from bad breath to heart disease should leave America’s large population of non-flossers rethinking their position of daily flossing.
You may be inundated by people in your life that talk about the amazing benefits of flossing but haven’t ever personally researched the specifics of this magical mint-flavored invention. Maybe the exact definition of flossing and the details behind it is a bit confusing too. Let us do some of the heavy lifting for you in this article as we explain flossing, list some of the positive benefits, and discuss the potential negatives if flossing is omitted from your routine.
Flossing: The Basics
Flossing is removing food and plaque from your teeth using a very thin cord-like piece of string. Your toothbrush cannot reach every area of your teeth sufficiently and flossing essentially locates and dislodges whatever your toothbrush can’t.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that people floss once per day which, coupled with the recommended twice-daily brushing of your teeth, leads to healthy oral hygiene.
Why Flossing is So Important to Dental Health
As stated earlier, the range of benefits of flossing for your overall health are far-reaching.
Benefits Your Overall Oral Health
Reduces Other Health Risks
Reduces Bad Breath
Flossing’s main purpose is to remove plaque and food from your teeth, but that act also contributes to the fight against things like Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease. Flossing is also great for your gum health. Certain studies have shown that those with bleeding gums can improve them through flossing, which eventually leads to less bleeding over a period of time.
People are often surprised when they discover the underlying issues that can be improved or prevented by flossing:
The more you don’t floss, the more bacteria builds up in your mouth. This bacteria can negatively affect your glucose levels which can be very risky to someone with diabetes. Flossing regularly controls those levels and combats bacteria buildup in the mouth.
Once Gingivitis sets in, your gums are highly susceptible to bacteria that can enter your bloodstream and attack your organs. Flossing strengthens the gums making it difficult for this problem bacteria to build up.
This one usually perks the ears up of the naysayers that don’t fully value the benefits of flossing. No one wants to have to deal with bad breath but if you are flossing regularly, you are directly fighting against it! Tartar buildup causes some of the strongest smells in your mouth and flossing can eliminate that buildup.
The importance of adding flossing into your daily routine can play a major difference in the health of not only your mouth but your entire body. Hopefully, this is no longer a secret for you, and the information we provided will either reaffirm your dedication to flossing or start your journey to better dental health.
At Surf City Dental, we want all of our patients to maintain a healthy flossing routine. Please reach out to us with any questions you may have about your dental health.