Lately, flossing has featured in the news as a waste of time, a habit that ultimately has minimal, if any, positive impact on your health. For those of you who thought you were off the hook, we’re here to set the record straight. Flossing is not only critical to oral hygiene, but also to the health of your teeth, gums, and body overall. Where this recent faulty information about flossing came from we do not know. What we do know is that flossing features huge when it comes the health scene. Focus on a brighter future with floss by finding out the facts.
Fact One: Brushing is Only Half the Battle
Well, slightly more than half. Relying on brushing your teeth alone only does 60% of the job. How is this calculated? Well, each one of your teeth has five surfaces. Your toothbrush can only access three. Basic math proves that three out of five anything equals 60%. In order to do a complete job, you need to floss because flossing gets those other two surfaces where toothbrush bristles just can’t reach. And what you’re ultimately trying to reach is bacteria. It’s a battle to beat bacteria before it strengthens…
Fact Two: Floss is Your First Line of Defense
The bacteria between your teeth begin life as tartar, which is a soft and sticky substance. But, if you don’t move it out of its tight little hiding spaces, it will harden into plaque. Unlike flossing tartar away, you have to rely on a dental professional to remove the plaque from your teeth. With a scraper…cue the shuddering. Because flossing disturbs the bacteria in its early stage, many dentists recommend flossing first and then brushing to ensure that the bacteria has been fully swept clear of your teeth and the crevices between them.
Fact Three: Flossing Fights Gum Disease
Left unchecked, plaque, which is acidic, will aggravate and break down your gum tissue. When this happens, you can expect dental issues like cavities, but also gum disease. At the onset, gum disease presents as swollen gums, or gingivitis. As it progresses, gingivitis can infect the area deep beneath your gum line, which leads to periodontis. The problem with periodontis includes the threat of possible tooth and bone loss. This bone loss can actually contribute to an aging overall appearance because your bone structure, supporting the lower half of your face, is weakened. Between bad breath, gum recession, and a sagging facial structure, your smile and the face you present to the world will be compromised.
Fact Four: The CDC Favors Flossing
For years, the Centers for Disease Control have been expounding the virtues of flossing because of its connection to your overall health. In fact, the CDC has significant evidence suggesting that the bacteria supported by poor oral hygiene can spread to other areas of your body, promoting infection and disease. The main areas of concern are cited as heart and respiratory disease, diabetes, and perhaps even more frightening, a compelling connection to certain types of bacteria found in the mouth with pancreatic cancer. Starting in 2003, the CDC made strides to officially enact education initiatives in order to spread public awareness of the relationship between oral and overall health.
Fact Five: The Financial and Free Time Reward
Put quite simply, taking good care of your teeth and gums will save you money on dental appointments, and leave you with more free time to spend as you please.
At Diamond Dental, we encourage you to find the few minutes it takes to floss every day and enjoy a brighter, healthier future.