The importance of proper oral health cannot be overstated. While most individuals understand the necessity of brushing their teeth on a regular basis, many do not participate in regular flossing. Most dentists will tell you that making the effort to floss regularly can significantly enhance the short and long term health of your teeth.
To further demonstrate the importance of flossing regularly, let’s take a look at the five main reasons that you should do so.
#1 – Remove More Bacteria
Most data suggests that brushing your teeth removes only about 65% of the bacteria in your mouth. While that is a significant amount, that still leaves 35%. Flossing can help to rid your mouth of the bacteria that is left over after brushing. Removing this bacterium is not just necessary for oral health, but also to help remove and prevent bad breath.
#2 – Preventing Tooth Decay
Preventing tooth decay is something that everyone should be committed to. The visual and financial cost of losing your teeth to decay are significant. For that reason, you should be doing everything in your power to prevent this from happening.
While brushing is important for tooth decay prevention, flossing enables you to remove much of the hardened plaque that you cannot get to when simply brushing. Leaving this hardened plaque unattended can cause it to turn into tartar, which will then serve as a resting place for tooth-dissolving bacteria.
#3 – Preventing Heart Disease
Many people do not know that flossing has the potential to actually help prevent heart disease. There have been multiple studies showing a strong link between gum disease and other, more serious, medical conditions like heart disease.
Individuals with gum disease are also at a higher risk to have strokes and there has even been a connection with women and low birth-weight babies. Flossing rids your mouth of the rest of the bacteria that you cannot get with brushing alone.
#4 – Taming Your Appetite
Another interesting benefit of flossing is that it can help to tame your appetite. The combination of brushing and flossing your teeth provides your subconscious mind with a reason to lessen your desire to eat.
#5 – Prevent Dry Mouth
Another little known fact when it comes to dental health is that saliva actually serves as a natural disinfectant in the mouth. When you are not generating an abundance of saliva, bacteria is able to build up and can lead to many of the issues that have already been talked about. Flossing is especially necessary for individuals that are taking an abundance of medications that cause dry mouth.
The Final Word
At the end of the day, regular flossing is necessary if you want to achieve optimal oral health. And, not only does it help you achieve healthy teeth, but it also serves as a way to prevent even more serious issues like gum and heart disease. If you are confused about exactly how you should floss, consulting with Dr. William A. O’Donnell, a local dentist in Centreville VA, is always your best bet!