“Have you been flossing regularly?”
It’s the one question most people dread the most when going to the dentist, because it’s typically the one thing that most people don’t actually do on a regular basis. Most people follow the recommendation to brush twice a day, but seem to conveniently forget about the recommendation to floss at least once a day. Unfortunately, just as not brushing your teeth can have serious dental health consequences, not flossing regularly can also cause problems.
So, why is flossing so important for your oral hygiene? If you haven’t flossed in a while, it can be uncomfortable to get back in the habit. Flossing can do a lot more for you than keep your teeth pretty.
The Power of Two: Brushing and Flossing Together
Brushing your teeth is just as important as flossing your teeth, and the two of them together can do wonders for your overall dental health. If you just brush your teeth without flossing, you are only cleaning the surfaces of your teeth. This is the reason floss was created. Plaque not only grows on the surface of your teeth, it will also grow in the tight places between your teeth, too. Floss cleans those tight spaces when your toothbrush can’t reach them.
Protect Your Gums
While floss helps clear the plaque from your teeth in hard-to-reach places, perhaps its more pivotal roles comes from the power it has to clean and protect your gums. As you eat every day, it’s almost certain that chunks of food will get lodged in the area between your teeth and gums. If left there, these food particles will cause plaque to form and harden there. Eventually, this plaque becomes tartar and can only be removed through scraping at your dentist’s office. If you don’t clean this tartar, it can lead to gum disease.
Flossing can remove the food particles and plaque between your teeth before tartar can form and cause more serious problems.
Save Yourself Some Money
A small box of floss is a lot cheaper than having to treat gum disease. In a day where health care costs are rising and insurance coverage is lessening, it’s important to take as much preventative action as you can. As you floss, you are preventing serious disease from happening, which will save you money in the long run.
Avoid the Question
As you start to floss more regularly, you will notice the difference in your overall oral health, especially when you go to the dentist. Rather than cringe when your dentists asks if you floss regularly, you can be proud to say that you do. Flossing will help you avoid having to worry about your dentist asking you the dreaded question with each trip to his or her office.
Make It a Habit
Flossing may seem like an inconvenience now, but it will help you maintain a healthy smile in the long run. The more you make an effort to floss on a daily basis, the more of a habit it will become. Eventually, flossing will become just a part of your routine as brushing your teeth.