Do you floss your teeth every day? If you’re reading this article, chances are you don’t. A survey found out that only 30% of Americans floss their teeth daily. That means a lot of people need to work on their oral hygiene. If you’re part of the minority that do floss their teeth every day, keep it up! If you aren’t, the information below might change your mind.
Did you know? One of the hardest things for dentists in general practice is convincing their patients to floss. Most patients think that brushing their teeth is enough for oral hygiene, and that is where they’re mistaken. What brushing does is remove the food and plaque from the visible surface of your teeth. You’ll be surprised to know that most cavities are not on top but sides of the teeth.
But are you wondering how it’s harmful to your teeth? Dental plaque left in between your teeth produces an acid that destroys your gums and your teeth. What happens to the plaque? Glad you asked. The plaque turns into calculus, which also causes inflammation and gum diseases. You’ve probably heard your dentist tell you to start flossing your teeth more often. However, but they don’t usually go into too much detail explaining why.
Now let’s move on to some of the unique benefits of flossing your teeth every day.
1. Bleeding Gums (Gingivitis)
Let’s start with something more common among people who have never flossed. If you’ve never flossed, it may not be bad initially, but after some time, things could get worse for your mouth in the future. The first thing that would happen is your gums would start to bleed. That bleeding isn’t usually because of the things poking at your gums. 9 out of 10, your gums bleed because you don’t floss enough.
When you don’t floss your teeth, you’re missing cleaning nearly 40% of your tooth surface. That means bacteria starts building up in between your teeth and under your gums. Soon you’re gums become inflamed, making them appear red because your body starts sending more blood to help fight the infection. It means the blood you see is already there and is just getting flushed out when you visit the blooding. This inflammation under your teeth is a gum disease known as gingivitis. However, the problem could lead to bacteria entering your bloodstream, eventually resulting in blood clots or heart disease.
Gingivitis is very mild, and your gums are still going to appear healthy. And if these bacteria remain, this disease can worsen and spread to the bones that surround your teeth – this is called periodontitis. Once you have periodontitis, there is no going back. You have it for life, and it’s irreversible. The only thing you can do is prevent it from getting worse with frequent visits to your dentist.
Periodontitis also makes it easier for you to lose your teeth because the structures that hold your teeth in place get weakened. As mentioned earlier, when you don’t floss your teeth, you’re leaving 40% of your tooth surface unclean, allowing the bacteria to grow in between your teeth.
3. Risk of Cavities
As the bacteria in your oral region builds up, they don’t just cause gum disease, but cavities as well. It means your dentist has to drill out the decay and put in the filling. It may seem like a simple fix, but your tooth becomes weaker when you get a filling procedure because there is less natural tooth enamel remaining. It means there is a good chance you’ll need more work done on that tooth or even lose that tooth in the future. Not to mention the extra money you’ll have to spend.
4. Bad Breath
Another major disadvantage of not flossing your teeth has terrible breath. Keeping a buildup of plaque, tartar, and old food particle in your mouth is bound to smell bad. Flossing is the easiest way to prevent your mouth from having bad breath. Halitosis or bad breath is very common among people and is a critical oral hygiene issue. Other than an embarrassing social problem, bad breath can be a sign of illness or disease. People who experience bad breath can help improve themselves with regular flossing.
5. Teeth Yellowing
Having plaque buildup in between your teeth can also make your teeth appear more yellow. When you skip flossing, the plaque and tartar buildup can hasten discoloration in your teeth.
6. Control Diabetes
Yes, diabetes and flossing are related. When you don’t floss your teeth, the bacteria in your mouth directly affects glucose levels. Therefore, dentists recommend flossing every day to remove as much bacteria as possible to help control diabetes.
To Sum Up
Now you might be lucky if you’re not experiencing any of these problems even though you don’t floss your teeth. But, many people aren’t so fortunate, and you don’t want to find that out when it’s too late. So, it’s worth taking the time out to floss your teeth every day.
At Huch Family Dentistry, we provide quality and affordable dental services in Goose Creek, SC. Visit our website or come to our office if you have any concerns about your oral health or have questions that need answering.