Maintaining healthy teeth and gums and preventing dental mishaps doesn’t take a complex approach. It starts with something simple: practicing excellent dental hygiene. If you’re like most people, brushing your teeth is a no-brainer, but what about flossing? Do you struggle in this area? You may even be wondering why flossing is important. Continue reading to discover why it needs to be incorporated into your dental hygiene regimen today!
The Two Keys to Dental Hygiene
Oral bacteria are always present in your mouth. However, if they are allowed to grow uncontrollably, you will eventually see and experience the negative effects. Thankfully, when performed in tandem, toothbrushing and flossing disrupt the accumulation of hundreds of different types of bacteria that vie for space inside your mouth. If either procedure is skipped, you’re leaving the door open to tooth and gum decay and a host of peripheral issues that could develop.
The Benefits of Flossing
With its malleable shape and soft material, dental floss is able to maneuver into tight spaces that toothbrush bristles can’t clean. Here are some of the perks of flossing:
Prevents Plaque Accumulation
If ignored, oral bacteria can soon solidify into plaque. Shortly after eating a meal, the hardening process starts, which is why it’s so important to perform dental hygiene after consuming food or beverages. This prevents plaque from releasing corrosive fluids that wear down tooth enamel.
Can Stop Gum Bleeding
When plaque is allowed to sink beneath the gum line, it can cause inflammation and gum bleeding. This could be an early warning sign of gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease). This is the time to take action, as any damages to your gums are still reversible. By flossing to remove the bacteria that gathers along the gum line, you can possibly stop the bleeding and rejuvenate your gums.
It should be noted that whenever you experience gum bleeding, it should be brought to your dentist’s attention so he or she can perform a careful examination.
Improves Total Wellness
Plaque doesn’t settle for life in your mouth. It will attempt to move throughout your body. Dangerously, oral plaque can eventually travel to the heart to cause a blockage, which can be life-threatening. Additionally, dental negligence can contribute to higher blood pressure and greater susceptibility to cancer. By taking just a few minutes to floss each day, you’ll be encouraging better overall health.
Strengthens Your Teeth
Flossing daily ensures that your teeth will remain strong and healthy. Toothbrushing can only clean around 60% of the surface of your teeth, but with floss being able to get into the tight spaces between them, you’ll also have healthy gums that fit tightly around the base of your teeth so they can remain stable and functional.
In addition to all the oral health benefits of flossing, maintaining a consistent routine will also contribute to the appearance of your teeth. Thus, you can feel confident in knowing they are just as attractive as they are healthy!
About the Author
Dr. Louis Olberding graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry. For nearly two decades, he has been encouraging his patients to take a preventive approach to their oral health so they can make their lives easier. A highly accomplished dentist, Dr. Olberding maintains professional affiliation with the Spear Study Club, Nebraska Dental Association and many other organizations. He offers preventive care at Olberding Dental, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.