Floss Every Day
Why You Should Floss Every Day
Perhaps one of the simplest and most important things you can do for your health is to floss every day. You’ve probably heard this from everyone from your mother to those know-it-all doctors on TV.
It’s true. The importance of daily flossing cannot be understated. Not flossing is tantamount to only partially washing yourself in the shower. Actually, it is arguably worse.
The Ugly Truth About Plaque
Why is it so bad not to floss every day? Flossing rids the mouth of plaque, which is an unpleasant mixture of decaying food and bacteria. The longer you go without flossing, the more plaque you accumulate. The more plaque you have, the more bacteria move into your mouth to eat it. These little bugs make themselves known by causing tooth decay and bad breath.
Eventually, the acid produced by the bacteria begins to eat into your gums. This condition is known as gingivitis, which will quickly escalate into periodontal disease if it is not treated. Periodontal disease is when bacteria have infiltrated the bones in the jaw, and serious damage like tooth loss can occur.
When your mouth is infected with bacteria, your immune system is compromised as it is expending its resources fighting a losing battle against literally billions of germs. This can lead to all kinds of illnesses and studies have linked gum disease with strokes, heart disease, and even low birth weight in the children of those with gingivitis. It is especially important for people with immune disorders to be vigilant about flossing.
Some Facts About Flossing
Don’t be alarmed if your gums bleed when you floss if you haven’t done it for a while. This is a sign that the gums are inflamed and irritated from bacteria – good thing you’re flossing!
- Diabetic individuals tend to find some relief of symptoms when they floss every day.
- Don’t jerk the floss up and down – there is no need to assault your gums. Proper technique involves wrapping the floss around the tooth and scrubbing to scrape off the plaque. If you’re not sure how to do it right, talk to a dentist or hygienist.
- There is no “right” kind of floss to use. Dentists agree that as long as you floss every day, it doesn’t matter whether you use flavored or unflavored, waxed or unwaxed. Whichever kind will get you flossing is the kind you should use.
- It really doesn’t matter whether you floss first or brush first. As long as you are flossing, you’re doing the right thing. It’s really just a matter of personal preference. Some people floss before brushing to ensure that they floss every day (since we tend to be less likely to skip brushing.)
- You can obtain special tablets that will show whether plaque is still in your mouth after a cleaning. It might be a good idea to use these when you begin flossing to find out if you are flossing thoroughly enough.
In the recent past, it was widely accepted that people naturally lost their teeth over time and that most of us would need dentures by the time we were seniors. We now know that the main reason adults lose their teeth is because of periodontal disease, which is set in motion by simply not flossing.
It is such a simple thing to do, and its benefits are life changing. The repercussions of not flossing every day are, in a word, ugly. Make it a habit to floss every day. Think of it as an absolutely necessary step in your personal grooming regimen, and do not skip it.
Your entire body will thank you.