The most common question your dentist will ask you is, “Have you been flossing regularly?” For many patients, the answer will be yes, but not everyone follows recommendations to floss at least once a day.
What the latter group does not realize is that flossing plays a vital role in your dental health. Toothbrushes are great and get the outer surfaces as well as the tops of your teeth and gums, but floss gets into all of those hard to reach areas almost all toothbrushes cannot access. Using mouthwash can help to kill additional plaque that forms, but it cannot remove food bits and tartar that cling on to your teeth the way that floss does.
Taking care of your teeth can give you much more than a great smile. Flossing on a regular basis can also help to lower or eliminate your chances of much more serious diseases. Here are 5 benefits of flossing:
1. Flossing Prevents Tartar Buildup
Anyone who has ever been to the dentist dreads that awful scraping sound on their teeth. This process is essential in removing tartar buildup that can only be removed with professional tools once it develops. Flossing daily will help to drastically reduce tartar buildup, while also reducing the time your dentist has to spend scraping your teeth.
2. Flossing and Brushing Are More Effective Than Brushing Alone
Many people assume that brushing alone is good enough for their teeth. Studies show, however, show that optimal cleaning can only be achieved by adding flossing into your daily routine. Floss removes plaque, which in turn allows your toothbrush to get tighter into areas that aren’t covered. Flossing is much more effective when done right after brushing, as you may have already “loosened” any buildup with your toothbrush, making it easier to remove with the floss.
3. Flossing Protects Your Gums
Flossing allows you to get into spaces between your teeth and gums, therefore removing food and plaque accumulation that mouthwash and brushing can’t remove. This will keep your gums healthier, reducing the risk for gum disease and other oral-related infections. Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to red and swollen gums, known as gingivitis, signaling the first sign of gum disease. Flossing daily can help to eliminate the risk of deterioration of your gums.
4. Flossing Daily Can Help To Save You Money
Health care costs are rising by the day. By flossing every day, you are lowering the chance for an extra dental visit or two each year, saving you a lot of money in the meantime. Emergency room visits can cost up to ten times more than regular dentist appointments, so keeping your teeth clean now can eliminate additional costs later. Proper education and follow up can ensure that you only need to keep your regularly scheduled appointments in line. Flossing is the most cost effective way to keep your teeth clean while keeping your hard earned cash in your pocket.
5. Flossing Helps Prevent Other Diseases
Besides gum disease such as gingivitis, there are other health related risks that are associated with poor dental hygiene. You may be putting yourself at risk for heart disease, respiratory illness and diabetes if you are not brushing and flossing on a daily basis. With heart disease being the leading cause of death in the U.S, you can help to improve your health by keeping your teeth clean and healthy for years to come. It takes just a short amount of time out of your day, but it can have major implications when it comes to the long term effects of your health.
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