Maintaining a regular flossing routine plays a pivotal role in ensuring optimal dental hygiene as it effectively prevents the accumulation of plaque between teeth and along the gumline. When one neglects to floss, it significantly increases the risks of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Recognizing the importance of interdental cleaning, the American Dental Association (ADA) strongly emphasizes the use of tools such as dental floss to remove plaque and debris from areas that are difficult for a toothbrush to reach. By incorporating flossing into daily oral care, individuals can greatly enhance their overall oral health and well-being.
Digging out a lingering piece of popcorn or removing some leftover spinach from between your teeth feels really good.
But, in addition to helping your teeth and gums look and feel good, flossing also has many other benefits. Let’s look at these benefits in more detail.
1. Gets rid of plaque
Plaque is a colorless sticky film that collects around and between your teeth and along your gumline. Although it’s difficult to see, plaque isn’t something you want lingering in your mouth for very long.
Plaque forms on and around your teeth when bacteria in your mouth mix with starchy or sugary foods and drinks. These bacteria release acids that break down carbohydrates. If you don’t brush your teeth, the bacteria, acids, and carbohydrates can mix together to form a film of plaque on and around your teeth and gum line.
The bacteria in plaque can release acids that attack your tooth enamel. If these acids aren’t removed with brushing and flossing, it can, over time, lead to cavities.
What’s more, a buildup of plaque can harden and turn into tartar, which collects along your gumline. When this happens, you increase the risk of developing gum disease, according to the ADA.
Regular flossing can help remove food particles from around your teeth, as well as plaque that’s built up between your teeth.
2. Reduces the risk of cavities
Tooth decay can result in a cavity, which causes a tiny opening or hole in the hard surface of your teeth known as enamel.
Although this process takes time, the more plaque you have on the enamel of your teeth, the higher your risk of developing a cavity.
Flossing between your teeth at least once a day can help get rid of hidden food particles and plaque buildup, and lower your risk of tooth decay.
3. Helps prevent gum disease
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. One of the first signs of gingivitis is inflammation around your gums. Your gums may also bleed when you brush or floss your teeth.
If gingivitis isn’t treated, it can lead to a more serious infection known as periodontitis. This can cause your gums to recede or pull away from your teeth. Your teeth may lose bone support and become loose. If not treated, periodontitis can cause an inflammatory response throughout your body.
Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day can help reduce your risk of gum disease. Professional cleanings done by your dentist every 6 months can also help keep your gums healthy.
4. Reduces bad breath
Bad breath (halitosis) is a common problem. But flossing is one of the tools you can use to keep bad breath away.
When food gets trapped between your teeth, it slowly starts to decay. If you don’t remove the food particles, it can cause you to have foul-smelling breath.
Also, if plaque builds up around or between your teeth and starts eroding your tooth enamel, it can cause cavities and gum disease, which contribute to bad breath.
5. May help your heart health
Good dental hygiene doesn’t only benefit your teeth and gums. It may benefit your heart health, too.
According to a large 2019 study, participants who adhered to a high standard of oral hygiene had a decreased risk of atrial fibrillation and heart failure.
That said, the American Heart Association says a connection between oral health and heart health may have more to do with a link between the health of your mouth and the overall health of your body.
Regardless, flossing your teeth is a simple, low-cost way to help boost your oral hygiene as well as your overall health.
Smile With Confidence
Having visible damage to your smile can negatively impact your self-esteem and make it difficult to smile with the confidence you deserve. This is why our dentists Dr. Brian L. Porter or Dr. Kelley Joo, work with patients to rebuild their smiles. This can be done with dental bonding, dental veneers, teeth whitening treatments, dental implants, Invisalign®, and more. If you are looking to restore your confidence and smile contact Brian L. Porter, DDS today at 281-422-3415 to learn more about your treatment options.
Brian L. Porter, DDS
1109 E. James Ave.
Baytown, TX 77520
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