When it comes to flossing, the statistics aren’t good. Despite having plenty of access to affordable and effective dental floss, the numbers speak for themselves. Only 28 percent of Canadians floss! That’s why a dentist must sometimes become a teacher as well. Once you realize how truly importance regular flossing is to not only your smile, but your overall health, you’ll wonder what took you so long to begin implementing this simple but highly effective preventative measure.
It’s true—flossing is an important part of good oral hygiene and is well worth the very small time investment. Flossing takes only a few minutes each day and although you may experience some initial discomfort and bleeding when you first begin flossing, you and your gums will quickly become used to the procedure as it becomes a part of your daily routine. Wondering why you should floss? There are lots of reasons, but put simply, flossing serves the same purpose as brushing—that is to remove food, bacteria, and plaque from the teeth. Many people believe that because their teeth look and feel clean after brushing that there is no need to floss, but this is a complete misconception, and a potentially dangerous one at that. Flossing and brushing go hand in hand, and if you want to have a healthy, youthful smile, you need to get in the habit of doing both on a daily basis.
Why You Need to Floss
If you don’t like flossing, don’t blame your dentist; blame your toothbrush. The main reason we need to floss is because the toothbrush’s bristles are incapable of reaching areas in between your teeth and around your gums. Flossing picks up where brushing leaves off by removing food and bacteria from in between the teeth, preventing bad breath as well as plaque, tartar, and calculus build-up. Once calculus has formed on the teeth, there’s no removing it on your own; you’ll have to make a special trip to the dentist to have it removed. If left unattended to, the bacteria between your teeth can also create abrasive acids that can damage the tooth enamel and cause tooth decay. In addition, your gums can become inflamed, creating an uncomfortable condition called gingivitis.
The Risk of Periodontal Disease
Over time, the consequences of not flossing become even more dangerous. If the food and bacteria remain between the teeth long enough, more bacteria will begin to breed, making the body think that there is an infection that needs to be attacked with white blood cells. Although the body thinks it’s helping, all of this activity localized in one place begins to weaken the bone structure beneath the teeth. This is an irreversible condition called periodontal disease that can lead to gum disease, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. There’s good news, though! Flossing just once a day can remove harmful bacteria and oxygenate the area keeping any existing bacteria from proliferating, thus preventing cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss.
Aesthetic Benefits of Flossing
Many patients seem more concerned about the aesthetic nature of their smile than the actual health of their teeth. If you’re a guilty party, consider this—flossing on a regular basis can rid you of unattractive bad breath and make you look younger by preserving your smile. Flossing can also prevent gum deterioration, tooth decay, and loss of bone structure, conditions which can make you look older than you really are.
Dangerous Consequences of Not Flossing
Many people know that not flossing is bad for the gums and teeth, but few people realize that failing to floss can have dire consequences for the entire body. If the bacteria in between the teeth enter the bloodstream, it can cause inflammation in the lining of the blood vessels and can lead to serious conditions such as hardening of the arteries which can cause heart attacks and stroke.
In need of a good flossing? Give us a call to make an appointment, and we’ll ensure that you leave with a truly clean smile and the incentive to keep it that way!
Give Dr. Diane a Call at (604) 736-7373
#202-2732 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC