Many people brush their teeth twice daily or even after every meal but flossing is an equally important but often-overlooked step of an effective oral health routine. Yet flossing every day can be key to preventing serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease — not to mention severe gum disease.
While you may enjoy flossing every day, there are good reasons that so many dentists urge their patients to do it at least once a day. Dr. Leonard Hess of Union County Center for Comprehensive Dentistry in Monroe, NC wants you to know why you should floss every day.
1. Brushing alone only gets 60% of the plaque off of your teeth
While brushing is important to your oral health, almost half of the plaque that needs to be removed cannot be removed by brushing alone. Around 40% of plaque is actually between teeth and cannot be removed by brushing. Flossing, or some other form of interdental cleaning, is the only way to remove plaque from between teeth.
2. Flossing removes cavity-causing bacteria from hard-to-reach places
Many people don’t know that over 500 different bacteria species live in the average person’s mouth? Most of these bacteria are harmless to us, but many of them cause cavities. Even if you brush your teeth regularly, the bacteria that live in between your teeth — where brushing can’t reach — can break down your enamel with their digestive acids, causing cavities, which puts your oral health at risk.
3. It prevents bad breath
When the bacteria that live in our mouths are allowed to flourish, the acids they produce cause bad breath. Removing the bacteria and leftover food particles from between teeth by flossing can prevent bad breath and preserve gum health.
4. It reduces your risk of gum disease
The same bacteria that cause cavities can also cause gum disease. What starts out as a little bleeding from inflamed gums when you floss can lead to severe decay and tooth loss without you even noticing other symptoms. Flossing around teeth to remove plaque from between teeth is a crucial step in keeping gum disease at bay.
5. Gum disease is directly linked to serious health problems
New studies show that gum disease can negatively affect your health in serious ways. Researchers have found links between gum disease and increased incidences of Alzheimer’s Disease heart disease and diabetes, and it has already been established that it’s linked to low birth weight in babies. Regular brushing and flossing is the best way to prevent gum disease.
6. Flossing saves you money in the long run
By preventing gum disease, cavities, and bad breath, flossing can save you money by reducing the need for complex, uncomfortable, and expensive dental procedures. The easiest, most inexpensive way to prevent oral health problems is with a toothbrush and some dental floss.
Expert Dental Care in Monroe, NC
Dr. Hess is an experienced dentist in Union County, NC who offers patients compassionate dental care in a professional and welcoming environment. To schedule an appointment with our office, call 704.240.5045 or request your appointment online today!