Flossing is one of those annoying things; it is much like changing your car’s oil, you know it needs to be done but it isn’t fun and it takes time out of our day that you would rather spend doing pretty much anything else. And much like changing your oil, if you don’t do it, there can be serious problems down the road. Many people think that their oral hygiene needs are covered by brushing, what they do not realize is that brushing only reaches the outer surfaces of the teeth and a toothbrush alone cannot reach the tight spaces between the teeth. Flossing is an important part of a person’s oral health and can accomplish more than a tooth brush alone. Floss not only gets rid of food that gets stuck between teeth, it also
If you find that your gums bleed after flossing, do not stop flossing! The bleeding occurs because flossing can irritate and inflame gum tissue, however, over time your gums will strengthen and bleed less. If you suffer from chronic gum inflammation, redness along the gum line and bleeding when flossing, you may have gingivitis – early gum disease. If your dentist diagnoses gum disease early enough, a rigorous oral health routine consisting of brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly can minimize or reverse gingivitis.
- To prevent tooth decay
Dental plaque can cause cavities if it’s left between teeth. When mixed with sugar, the bacteria that live in plaque can start the process of tooth decay. This is why it’s bad for plaque to be left in your mouth. Brushing alone does not clean in between teeth, only dental floss can remove plaque in those areas.
- To prevent gum disease
Gingivitis (inflammation of gums) is the first stage of gum disease (periodontal disease). It is caused by an accumulation of plaque around gums and between teeth. Plaque also contains bacteria that are harmful for the gums. Flossing is therefore important to remove all plaque accumulated after a meal.
- To prevent halitosis
Dental plaque is one of the causes of halitosis, and if it’s left between your teeth, it will generate a bad smell in your mouth. This odour comes from the metabolism of the bacteria contained in plaque. Bad breath can also be caused by gum disease and tooth decay which are also primarily caused by plaque.
- To prevent tartar build-up
Tartar is actually dental plaque that has become hard from the saliva’s calcifying action. Good oral hygiene measures, which include brushing and flossing, can slow down the accumulation of tartar, but does not actually remove it. Some people produce tartar more than others. Regular dental cleanings are recommended to remove tartar.
- To reduce the risk of heart disease
As mentioned earlier, the mouth is an entry point to harmful bacteria that may eventually reach the body organs, including cardiac tissue. Dental plaque, which contains dangerous bacteria, must be therefore eliminated to prevent those micro-organisms to reach the heart through the blood stream and cause heart disease complications.
- To avoid the complications of diabetes
There is scientific evidence that people who suffer from diabetes can have their condition complicated by gum disease. Diabetics usually have a weaker immune system and take more time to fight inflammations and infections, including the ones that start in the mouth. That’s why oral hygiene, which includes daily brushing and flossing, is very important to prevent diseases, or disease complications, such as diabetes.