Why Is Flossing So Important?
At Caven Dental, we consider the friendly reminder "Don't forget to floss!" more than just sage advice -- we think it's as important as brushing.
Daily flossing is essential
All kidding aside, flossing is no laughing matter. While most of us recognize and have embraced the importance of brushing, flossing has yet to achieve similar status. While widespread adoption in keeping with the American Dental Association's (ADA) recommended twice a day flossing regimen would be ideal, we'd consider daily flossing a good place to start. If you're already flossing once a day, consider flossing with that second brushing for good measure.
Going where no toothbrush alone can go
While brushing is a great way to remove plaque-producing bacteria and film from the surface of your teeth, floss can actually get between tight contacts and between your teeth and gums to remove debris in a way that toothbrushes can't. For that reason, flossing is considered interdental cleaning and should be viewed as an essential part of your routine oral hygiene and comprehensive dental care. Without regular flossing, plaque turns into tartar, which can only be removed with professional instruments and cleaning. The ADA even goes so far as to say that you should floss before you brush. They espouse that the fluoride in toothpaste stands a better chance of working more efficiently after bacteria-laden particles have effectively been flossed away and potential barriers to proper application have adequately been removed.
So smart it should be called mental floss instead of dental floss
Because of its superior ability to remove things that are otherwise impossible to reach or difficult to remove, regular flossing can do more than just help prevent cavities and tooth decay in a way that brushing alone can't. It can also keep gums healthy and immune to disease by preventing gingivitis and periodontitis. Left untreated, these conditions can discolor the teeth, cause bad breath, and ultimately lead to loss of both the teeth and bone, compromising the entire supporting structural anatomy, not to mention your overall health, in the process.
Sink your teeth into this: Regular flossing can prevent heart disease!
Don't take our word for it. Extensive research has shown that the bacteria that thrive in an unhealthy mouth can harm the rest of the body, too. This evidence has been so universally received that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) called for public health initiatives dealing with oral health as a step toward offsetting potentially life-threatening systemic diseases as recently as ten years ago. Systemic diseases are those conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory illness that affect multiple organs and interrelated bodily systems and functions.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.; and more than 25 million Americans suffer from diabetes, a number which now includes Academy Award-winning actor, Tom Hanks, who recently announced that he had been diagnosed with Type 2. Because these illnesses are so prolific, identifying and applying simple, preventive measures like brushing and flossing that get to the root cause, reduces the onset of gingivitis, periodontitis, and the incidence of something more serious and potentially life threatening.
A variety of styles to choose from
Dental floss now comes in every imaginable flavor, texture, and style, so you'll be hard-pressed not to find one to your liking.
Still need convincing? Discuss your issues with Dr. Caven, and let him help you come up with a plan to make flossing part of your daily routine!
October 22, 2013 | by Richard Caven