When asked by their dentists, 98.4% of adults say they floss their teeth daily.
I’m sure you aren’t shocked to learn that over half of those people are lying. And not only do they know they’re lying, their dentists do, too. Flossing right before your appointment doesn’t count, either, since your swollen and red gums are a telltale sign!
So, what is the real deal on flossing? Is it just something that dentist repeat ad nauseam but don’t really care about, or is it really a big deal for your oral and overall health? And can anything impress you enough to take the habit on for real?
Here are the top three reasons flossing really does matter!
#3: Brushing without flossing is like donuts without coffee
Brushing and flossing go to together like peanut butter and jelly, Bonnie and Clyde, or football and fall in Texas. One without the other just doesn’t make sense!
Does it matter which you do first though? The jury is still out on this one! The American Dental Association (ADA) advises that any flossing at any time is good; however, research published in the Journal of Periodontology suggests that the order does matter, and that flossing should actually come first (since, once the plaque is removed from the gum line by the floss, any remaining particles can be brushed away with your tooth brush).
Only brushing your teeth is like taking a shower without soap. You might wash away the dirt on the surface, but without soap, grime will still stick!
#2: Flossing helps your whole body
Flossing is important for more than just your gums and teeth, too. Research has shown that flossing has an impact on the entire body. Bacteria that cause tooth and gum decay also play a role in heart disease and strokes. Most bacteria in your mouth isn’t dangerous; however, poor oral care or a suppressed immune system could allow the bad bacteria to quickly multiply. This bad bacteria can enter your bloodstream through cuts in your gums and cause infections in your heart or lungs.
In addition, this bacteria can lead to build up in your arteries, causing a heart attack. While this bad bacteria isn’t the root cause of heart disease, those who have other risk factors should take this into consideration.
In addition to heart disease and an increased risk of stroke, failure to floss has also be associated with an increased risk of dementia. Poor dental health was shown to increase the risk from 22 to 65 percent.
#1: Creates good habits
As we head into the holiday season, we’re all looking for little ways to prevent the holiday weight gain. One of the benefits of flossing (and brushing) after eating is that it’s been proven to help limit mindless snacking!
In addition to good eating habits flossing is a key component to preventing gingivitis and gum disease. Flossing is a step that can help prevent the signs and symptoms of gingivitis by removing plaque.
Combined with brushing and using a rinse daily, you could keep your smile healthy and beautiful for life.