Do I really need to floss? What happens if I don’t?
Many people make a point of brushing their teeth twice a day, as the Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends, but fewer people follow the recommendation to floss at least once a day.
What many non-flossers don’t realise is that this step plays a key role in their oral health. Flossing is just as important as brushing because it removes bacteria that are the precursors of plaque.
The top 9 reasons why flossing is extremely important for ensuring optimal oral health
1. Floss can go where a toothbrush can’t
Floss can get into the space between your teeth and gums, removing much of the food and plaque that a toothbrush or mouthwash can’t move. Tiny particles of food can get lodged here, and plaque in this area will harden over time to form tartar, a thick deposit that only the dentist can remove.
2. Flossing makes brushing more effective
Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time is the most effective way to get rid of plaque. Did you know that by regularly flossing, you can help make brushing even more effective?
With less plaque caught between your teeth, the fluoride in your toothpaste can access more surfaces of your teeth and gums. This means a healthier smile and less money spent on fillings at your next trip to the dentist.
3. Flossing reduces your risk of gum disease
Flossing has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of gum disease.
4. Plaque acts quickly
Skipping a few days of flossing allows bacteria the perfect amount of time to solidify. Plaque starts to harden within hours of eating, and once 48 hours have passed, the cavity-causing substance will be firmly stuck to your teeth, best removed by a professional cleaning.
5. Your gums will stop bleeding
Flossing can reduce the occurrence of bleeding gums. If you remove bacteria from the gum line, your body won’t send blood cells to the area to fight the infection.
With daily brushing and flossing, bleeding gums typically go away in a few weeks. If they don’t, you need to see your dentist as they can check if you are flossing correctly and determine if you might have gum disease.
6. Less visits to the dentist
If you don’t take proper care of your teeth, you’re going to be visiting the dentist a lot more. As much as we like seeing you here at Dental Care Professionals, we would rather you avoid serious erosion and cavities because of not flossing.
7. A healthier body
Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and even respiratory disease have all been linked to gum disease. By maintaining your gum health, you’ll help cut down your risk of these serious conditions – or improve your condition, if you’re already affected.
8. Stronger teeth
What’s worse than getting a cavity? Getting a cavity in between two teeth. Remove bacterial build up in those hard-to-reach areas, and you’ll save yourself the pain of going under the drill.
9. Minimises bad breath
An unhealthy mouth, full of decay and gum disease can lead to terrible breath. Good oral hygiene can put an end to bad breath and this includes daily flossing. See your dentist at least every six months for a teeth cleaning and exam if you do have concerns in this area.
Bonus flossing tips from the team at Dental Care Professionals
- Floss your teeth every day
- If possible, floss before you brush your teeth
- When eating out, take some floss with you, take a trip to the bathroom, and clean the gap between your teeth where bacteria grows, and plaque builds.
Have more questions about flossing or ready to schedule your appointment at Dental Care Professionals? Call 08 8232 3280Leave a reply →