If you floss every day, you can stop reading now and give yourself a pat on the back.
But the reality is less than 30% of the population flosses daily. About 37% of the population sometimes floss, and a whole 32% never floss.
With these high numbers of people avoiding flossing, you might be asking yourself, do I really need to floss? I don’t think you’ll be surprised that we say yes.
Why you need to floss
Flossing does what even daily brushing can’t do – remove the food particles and bacteria that try to find a home between your teeth and your gums. When you don’t floss, food particles stay stuck between your teeth, turning to plaque, then to tartar, and eventually cavities and bone loss. Your gums suffer too, and become red, inflamed and diseased.
It’s not just the health of your teeth that are improved through flossing, but even your brain, heart, and lungs health is helped.
Keeping good oral health prevents the bacteria from flourishing that can eventually turn into heart disease. While the inflammation starts in your mouth, it doesn’t stay there. It can spread through the bloodstream to your heart and even lungs. Studies have even shown that the changes that occur in your body with mouth inflammation can make it harder for those with type 2 diabetes to control their blood sugar levels.
If that doesn’t convince you to start flossing, maybe vanity will. The bacteria that decays teeth and inflamed gums can also eat away at the bones that support your teeth and lower face. Flossing preserves these bones, and allows you to look better as you age!
Flossing and cleanings
Once you start flossing regularly, don’t give up on regular tooth brushing and dentist visits. They all work together to keep your oral health in tip-top shape.
You might be happy to know that once you start flossing, you’ll make your regular cleanings even easier. Not only will there be less plaque and tartar for your hygienist to remove, but your gums will be less sensitive. And of course, you’ll be preventing cavities!
If your gums tend to bleed or hurt when your dentist flosses them, this is because your gums may be slightly inflamed due to the plaque that they are infected with. Once you start flossing regularly, they’ll no longer bleed and the pain will be lessened.
How to start flossing
If you’re part of the 32% who don’t ever floss, it can be intimidating and difficult to make it a daily habit. One way to make it easier to tackle is by taking it one tooth at a time.
Start by committing to flossing one tooth, yes, just one, every day after or before brushing your teeth. It may seem silly to only floss one tooth, but by committing to doing it every day you’re turning it into a habit. Before you know it, you’ll be flossing your entire mouth without question, and be well on your way to cleaner teeth.
Ready to commit to flossing? Start off on the right foot by booking an appointment with your dentist! Creating Smiles Dental can help, and you can’t beat our new patient special!