Your family dentist has probably advised you to floss your teeth daily as part of your teeth-cleaning regime, and it's quite possible you've ignored this advice. What are the benefits of flossing that make dentists so keen to recommend it?
Flossing helps prevent the build-up of plaque on the teeth by reaching parts of the surface of the tooth that your brush can't get to. It is very easy for small pieces of food and other debris to get stuck between the teeth, which can contribute to the build-up of plaque. Over time, plaque will attack the enamel of your teeth and lead to tooth decay. Regular flossing, as an addition to brushing, will help ensure the plaque is removed and the teeth stay healthy.
Prevents gum disease
Flossing is also proven to help fight against gum disease. Plaque that forms along and below the gum line can erode and weaken the soft gum tissue, causing periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth decay and root canal problems. Flossing removes this plaque, and so protects your gums from being attacked in this way.
If you suffer from bleeding gums, you may think that flossing will make the condition worse. In fact, the opposite is likely to be true, as flossing will improve the overall health of your gums, which will make them less prone to bleeding.
Prevents bad breath
There are many possible causes of bad breath, but one cause is from food particles that get stuck between the teeth. Bacteria can form in these particles and give off a foul odour. By removing these particles, flossing helps keep the breath fresh.
Improves overall health
Gum disease has also been linked to other health conditions. There seems to be a link between periodontal disease and heart disease, probably because the bacteria causing the gum disease enters the bloodstream, where it can harden the blood vessels and cause blood clots. It is also known that the bacteria in gum disease can worsen lung diseases and diabetes and cause premature births in pregnant women.
Finally, flossing is a great way of removing any small pieces of food between the teeth which may be spoiling your smile.
Remember that flossing is not a substitute for brushing; rather, it is another defence against tooth and gum disease that, when used alongside regular brushing, will help protect your oral health for many years to come.Share
27 July 2018
When I had my first child, I was a nervous wreck. Every book I read gave different advice, and I just wanted to be right! By the time I had my third child, some of the stress had abated. I now realised, there were tons of different perspectives on everything related to raising children including dentistry. To help parents, I have created this blog dedicated to unraveling dental myths about children. I am including posts that weigh both sides of issues such as thumb sucking, dental caries, breastfeeding, flossing and any other topic I can think of. I hope you find the information you need to unravel dental myths, but most importantly, I hope you find some peace of mind. With kids and dentistry, there can be more than one right answer, and I want you to be able to relax and go with the answer that's right for you.