We’ve all been there. When pressed for time and given a choice between flossing and not flossing, how important is flossing really every day? Most of us know we should floss, but we all seem to wonder the above questions, especially if we can’t see any of the food trapped between our teeth.
To Floss or Not Floss?
Before we dive into the details, ponder this: “Is it still important to vacuum a rug or carpet even if you can’t see any dirt on it?” You probably know that answer is yes.
When you don’t floss, bacteria starts to grow beneath your gums and between your teeth, which are both spots you can’t reach with your regular brushing. Even if you can’t physically see the bacteria, it is still there.
Despite recent reports that suggest there aren’t any benefits to regular flossing, it should still be an important part of your daily dental health routine along with regular brushing.
When done correctly (MouthHealthy’s Guide for Flawless Flossing), cleaning between your teeth still helps to prevent gum disease and cavities. The ADA continues to recommend that patients brush twice a day, floss at least once a day and see their dentist on a regular basis.
The Dangers of Not Flossing
So, what happens when you allow that bacteria to build up between your teeth? The problem lies when our bodies create an inflammatory response to fight off infiltrating bacteria.
While the inflammatory response helps fight off the bacteria, it also affects the fibers and collagen, which are responsible for holding your teeth in place. As the fibers and collagen start to break down, teeth become susceptible to falling out.
The potential dangers of not flossing can include:
- Tooth loss
- Gum disease
- Bad breath
- Yellow teeth
While you may not realize it, choosing to not floss could have a large impact on your dental and overall health.
Options for If You Hate Flossing
We understand that not everybody is sprinting to their bathroom each night because they can’t wait to get their flossing done. Even if you just can’t stand it, these options can help make flossing easier (and maybe even fun) for you:
- Purchase quality floss, such as waxed floss or a flavored floss.
- Use a flossing stick, which can make flossing much easier.
- Start by flossing one tooth a day and build up from there until it’s a habit.
Nobody wants to be tied up by their morning dental hygiene routine. But in the long run, flossing remains your best defense against fighting plaque, cavities and gum disease in-between dental appointments.
Considering all the consequences that come if you don’t floss, taking 1-2 minutes of your day is worth the hassle of flossing in the long run. If you would like to learn more about how to floss properly (or maybe you’re still not sold on the benefits), please contact us at Dentistry at East Piedmont!
What do you do to incorporate flossing into your daily routine? Share your best tips with us in the comment section.