Why Flossing Is As Necessary As Your Dentist Says

While most people know that flossing is important, many don’t realize just how important it is. As few as 16% of adults floss every day, with 8% reporting that they never floss. Most people fall into the “sometimes to rarely” category. Many only floss weekly or to dislodge visible foodstuffs from between their teeth, and there are those who vigorously floss shortly before their regularly scheduled dentist appointment. And yes, even then, your dentist can tell if you’re lying about your flossing frequency. Your dentist doesn’t want you to feel ashamed or feel like you can’t tell us the truth about your flossing habits. We just want you to be equipped with the knowledge you need to build healthy habits that promote a longer life for you and your smile. 

Radiance Dental wants to see more happy people with more healthy smiles. Keep reading to learn why flossing is as important as we, and other dentists, have been saying it is. 

Prevent Tooth Decay

When we brush our teeth, our toothbrushes can only clean 3 of the five surfaces. Our toothbrush can’t reach in between our teeth. Cleaning between our teeth helps remove the sticky film called plaque. Plaque contains bacteria that feeds on leftover food debris and  releases an acid that erodes the enamel causing cavities.

Flossing correctly cleans away about 80% of this bacteria, and combined with a fluoride rinse and regular visits to your dentist, you’re in great shape to avoid tooth decay, bad breath and more. 

Reduce the Risk of Periodontal Disease

Due to the prevalence of sugar in our foods and the lack of adequate flossing, nearly 50% of adults in the USA have some degree of periodontal disease. Known in its early stages as gingivitis, periodontal disease is the result of inflammation and infection of the gums and bones that surround and support the teeth. When plaque builds up and calcifies into tartar, that tartar spreads below the gum line. Once this happens, only a dental professional can remove it, slowing the progression of disease. Flossing once a day in the evening has been proven to dramatically reduce the risk of developing periodontal disease. If you’re already experiencing gingivitis or later stage periodontal disease, add flossing to your daily routine to slow the progress of the disease. 

Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease, Dementia and Other Deadly Illnesses

One of the main reasons we want to prevent periodontal disease and reduce its progression, is that it is linked to a number of life and quality-of-life threatening ailments. When bacteria and inflammatory molecules from oral infections and inflamed gums enter the bloodstream, they are pumped through the body into the heart, brain and other vital organs. Periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease, dementia, pregnancy complications, autoimmune disorders, and even some forms of cancer. As unpleasant as tooth loss and bad breath are, these risks far outweigh the aesthetic upsets of poor flossing habits. Flossing once a day is vital to your overall health, wellness and longevity. 

Strengthen Your Oral Health with Radiance Dental 

Flossing is essential to leading a long, happy and healthy life. It’s important to instill good flossing habits in your children, because establishing new habits as an adult can be challenging. If you’re one of those adults who’s struggling with adequate flossing, don’t be embarrassed. You’re far from alone. Whether you’re a dedicated daily flosser, or someone who needs to up their flossing game, Radiance Dental is here to support you and your smile. In addition to providing general, pediatric and cosmetic dentistry, we make sure our patients are equipped with the knowledge, equipment and support they need to build and sustain good habits and great oral health. Learn more about our practice or book an appointment today to come see us. And remember, you can be honest about how often you floss.