November 20, 2019

Have You Been Flossing? What You Should Know if You Haven’t

Filed under: Uncategorized — allheart_dental @ 3:39 pm

Healthy, smiling woman flossing her teethEvery six months, your dentist asks you the same question: “Have you been flossing your teeth?” A recent national survey found that 27% of participants admitted to lying to their dentist about their flossing habits. Almost a third of participants flossed occasionally, and 32% of participants reported that they never floss, but can a dentist really tell? If your teeth look and feel fine, it may seem like no one would notice if you just stopped altogether. But flossing your teeth is just as important as brushing them! It’s estimated that flossing does about 40% of the work required to removed plaque and the bacteria it contains from your mouth. So even if your teeth don’t hurt, if you’ve been avoiding flossing, you could be harboring a lot of dangerous bacteria. Find out what really happens when you don’t floss, and what you can do about it.

Isn’t Brushing Enough?

Everyone knows that to keep from getting cavities, you must remove the plaque and bacteria that causes them. Brushing does a pretty good job of this, especially if you brush for the American Dental Association recommended two minutes twice a day. Unfortunately, your toothbrush can’t reach every area of your mouth, and the problems start where your toothbrush ends.

Floss can get to those areas that your toothbrush bristles can’t. Unlike the bristles on your toothbrush, floss is thin and flexible enough to slide into the tiny spaces between your teeth, which is where a lot of food particles get stuck and break down into cavity-causing plaque. Floss also plays a huge role in preventing gum disease by clearing out the bacteria that accumulates under your gums and causes the infection to start.

More Than Just Cavities and Gum Disease

Continually not flossing your teeth can give you more than just cavities and inflamed gums. Flossing is a great way to reverse gum disease while it’s still gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease, and the infection is still relatively small. When gingivitis is left untreated, periodontitis, the advanced stage of gum disease, develops and attacks the fibers that anchor your teeth to your jaw, causing tooth loss.

It doesn’t end there either: it spreads to beyond just your oral health. The inflammatory response to the infection in your gums is linked to larger health problems, like weight gain, heart disease, and dementia. People who suffer from periodontitis are even shown to have a higher risk of heart disease.

Tips for Getting into the Habit of Flossing

Even though it’s crucial to good oral and overall health, flossing still isn’t a fun thing to do. Here are some tips for getting into the habit of flossing, and maybe even learning to look forward to it!

  • Get a floss that comes in a fun flavor, like cinnamon or bubble gum!
  • Use a high-quality waxed floss that won’t fray or stick in your teeth.
  • Commit to flossing just one tooth a day at first to get into the habit.
  • Try a flossing stick to comfortably floss teeth that are hard to reach.

Avoiding flossing your teeth won’t just give you cavities. Prevent the health implications it could cause before they become serious! Try these tips to make flossing a little more manageable and to protect your overall health.

About the Practice

Allheart Dental strives to help patients maintain a happy, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. With offices in Red Oak, Grand Prairie, Irving, and Arlington, our team provides specialized services, including gum disease treatment, routine dental checkups, and more. Specific contact information for each office can be found on their main website.

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