While most of us have adopted the habit of brushing our teeth twice a day, flossing seems to be less popular. It’s easy to forget about the other surfaces of our teeth (the ones the toothbrush can’t get to). But, the sides of your teeth are no less important than the rest. In fact, if you don’t floss, bacteria can build up in between your teeth and cause even greater health issues.
Plaque can build up fast, hardening in only a few hours after eating. Skipping your flossing can allow bacteria to build up. This can put you at a higher risk of developing gum disease. Gum disease can lead to a deterioration in your bones that hold your teeth. Gum disease has even been linked to greater health problems including heart disease, respiratory diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and stroke.
Have you ever experienced bleeding gums after you’ve flossed? It might have scared you away from flossing altogether, but the reason for the bleeding is actually due to a bacteria buildup, likely because of inconsistent flossing. Your body sends extra blood cells to your gums to help fight off the bacteria. If you floss more often and on a consistent basis, you will notice reduced bleeding and irritation. This can also make going to the dentist a more pleasant experience.
Remember, no matter how well you brush, “flossing does about 40% of the work required to remove sticky bacteria, or plaque, from your teeth.” So, make time daily to floss. It’s just as important in keeping your mouth healthy and looking great!