At Palos Heights Family Dental, we constantly remind patients of how vital flossing is to their oral health. But did you know that nearly a third of all Americans don’t bother flossing at all? Understandably, for some people, wedging a piece of floss between your teeth to get every nook and cranny may require a level of focus and lengthy time that can simply make flossing seem like a chore. And others may wonder: Isn’t brushing enough? But without this significant step, your dental hygiene can have far-reaching consequences. Let’s take a look at why flossing is crucial for a healthy smile.
When you fail to clean the area between your teeth, you’re unable to break up the plaque buildup, allowing sometimes over a thousand bacteria to remain and create a hot spot for pathogens. This can result in inflammation or bleeding of the gums and further widespread of bacterial infection, ultimately causing early stages of gum disease, known as gingivitis.
Signs of periodontal disease can be hard to detect and if left untreated, it can cause bacteria to absorb into the bloodstream and wander to other parts of the body like your heart. This can cause potentially cause life-threatening problems like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other severe health problems. Flossing can help you reduce those chances of endangering your overall health.
Plaque buildup between your teeth can also weaken your enamel and make room for cavities to form. If cavities aren’t caught soon, they can lead to severe tooth decay and eventually even tooth loss.
While brushing is a key part of cleaning your teeth, it fails to get all the surfaces. The good news is that flossing at least once a day can keep the harmful bacteria at bay! We recommend that you use waxed floss so it won’t rip and get stuck in your teeth. If you’d like more information or tips on how to floss effectively, schedule an appointment with us today!