The benefits of flossing are significant. However, nearly half of Americans neglect to do it on a daily basis. Whether it is a lack of know how or just plain laziness, the patients who skip their flossing routine are at much greater risk for several dental complications, ranging from bad breath to serious gum disease.
Brushing is an obvious requirement to optimal dental health. However, even the most diligent and skilled brushers can only reach about 65% of their tooth’s surface with a toothbrush. The remaining 35% include the area between your teeth that only floss can properly clean. Therefore, by not flossing, you are allowing plaque and food debris to accumulate in these tight spaces between your teeth and just below your gum line. This provides an open invitation for a host of dental complications, including tooth decay and gum disease.
Gum disease is perhaps the most serious consequence of not flossing. Plaque that is not removed on a regular basis can lead to an infection within the gums. Remember that your gums are the foundation for your teeth, without their support, your teeth can lose stability. In addition, gum disease can enter your bloodstream and affect your heart.
If your gums appear red or swollen or they bleed easily, you may be experiencing the first stage of gum disease (gingivitis). At this early phase, your gum disease is easily reversible. Beyond picking up your flossing game, you may also benefit from a deep cleaning (or scaling and root planing) at your dental office.
Last but not least, a daily flossing routine can make your routine dental visit more pleasant. If you are one of the many patients who choose to only floss the week (or night) before your appointment, you may find that your gums will bleed during your routine cleaning. Yes, your dentist can tell if you are not keeping up with your flossing efforts!
There’s really no excuse when it comes to flossing. We know it significantly protects your oral health and it is an easy habit to follow. With today’s options, you can buy flavored floss, handheld flossing tools and water flossers to make the habit even less of a chore. If you notice signs of gum disease or suffer from chronic bad breath, schedule an appointment at Red Oak Family Dentistry. The solution could be as easy and affordable as flossing.
Red Oak Family Dentistry
McKinney, TX 75071