The first nationally representative analysis designed to determine how many people floss their teeth found that a whopping 32% of the population say they never floss. About 37% say they floss on occasion, and only 30% of the population floss on a regular basis.
Since there’s no instant gratification with flossing, some patients don’t think it does anything. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Here are 5 reasons why you should be flossing every day.
1.) Get Rid Of Plaque
If you don’t practice flossing every day, and skip even a few days, you allow bacteria the perfect amount of time to solidify. Plaque starts to harden within hours of eating, and once 48 hours have passed, this cavity-causing substance will be firmly stuck to your teeth. Plaque generates acid, which can cause cavities, irritate your gums, and ultimately lead to gum disease and tooth loss. Flossing actually does about 40% of the work required to remove it from your teeth.
2.) Periodontal Disease Prevention
Periodontitis, also known as gum disease or periodontal disease, begins with bacterial growth in your mouth and won’t end without proper treatment. If you don’t stop it in time, tooth loss will occur due to the destruction of the tissue that surrounds your teeth. This can all be avoided if you simply add flossing to your daily brushing routine.
Done properly, flossing removes food particles that stick to your teeth and create colonies of bacteria that cause inflammation and gum disease.
3.) Better Overall Health
Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and even respiratory disease have all been linked to gum disease. By maintaining good oral health, you’ll help to cut down your risk of these serious conditions– or improve your condition, if you’ve already been affected.
4.) Cavity Prevention
What’s worse than getting a cavity? Getting a cavity in between two teeth. Remove bacterial buildup in those hard-to-reach areas, and you’ll save yourself the pain of going under the drill. Extensive dental work can not only be painful, but it can be expensive. When it comes to your oral health, it’s always best to practice preventative care. Flossing is one of the best ways to do that.
5.) Cleaner Teeth
This one seems obvious but there’s a reason the American Dental Association recommends you floss every day. When you don’t floss, you can’t reach certain areas. It’s impossible for toothbrushes to reach some of the spaces in-between your teeth.
Each tooth has five surfaces, and if you don’t floss, you’re leaving at least two of the surfaces unclean. Floss is the only thing that can really get into that space between your teeth and remove the bacteria.
So, be a boss– and don’t forget to floss!
Make an Appointment
In addition to your daily home dental care routine, it’s important to keep regular appointments with us. The American Dental Association recommends you have a cleaning/ check-up twice a year for optimal oral health. If it has been over six months since your last appointment– you’re due! Call us or click here to request an appointment online.
Dr. Randall Burba is an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry accredited dentist, with a practice in Salem, Massachusetts. He considers himself an artist–with teeth and beyond! He often paints, draws and has a passion for woodworking.