We’ve all been guilty of not flossing every day despite the constant reminders from our dentist and oral hygienist. That’s because many of us believe that flossing is an optional step that we can skip as long as the brushing happens twice a day, but unfortunately, it is not. Brushing and flossing go hand in hand as both are essential for keeping the teeth squeaky clean.
Why You Should Floss Regularly
Most dentists recommend flossing twice a day, before brushing, because it can make the brushing more effective. Experts say that brushing without flossing can leave almost 35 percent of the teeth’s surface unclean and prone to various oral problems like bad breath, plaque build-up and gum diseases.
We all know that the gut contains millions of healthy microbes that help with digestion, immunity and other aspects of health. A similar colony inhabits the oral cavity too and this is where flossing can help regulate the spread of these microbes. The mouth plays a key role in our overall health because it acts as the entryway for all the food and the first step of digestion.
When we neglect to brush and floss, we are unfortunately allowing the microbes in the mouth to accumulate on the teeth and gums, leading to various issues. They tend to form biofilms more commonly known as plaque, the layer that can often develop on the teeth.
Dentists confirm that this layer of plaque if left untended, leads to a condition called dysbiosis where the microbes cause oral and dental issues like gingivitis and periodontitis. These plaque deposits become tartar, over time, and create a coating on the enamel of the teeth and the gums.
Benefits of Flossing
Flossing, when done the wrong way, can become painful and that often becomes reason enough for people to neglect it. But once you learn how to floss the right way, you can reap all the benefits of this important dental hygiene practice.
Flossing, especially in the night, is highly recommended because it can remove debris from all the meals from the day. This can slow the accumulation of disease-causing bacteria and reduce plaque and tartar build-ups.
Apart from cavities, bad breath and other oral problems, maintaining good oral and dental hygiene can benefit other aspects of health too. Research shows that the bacteria that build-up in an unhealthy mouth can lead to other health conditions like diabetes, respiratory ailments and even heart conditions. Studies have shown that lipopolysaccharide, the bacteria responsible for gum diseases, can also cause plaque to accumulate in the arteries.
This happens when the disease-causing microbes in the mouth travel down the digestive tract to reach the gut and other parts of the body. Once they spread throughout the body, these microbes can often alter immunity, cause inflammation and lead to the onset of diseases.
Brushing and flossing not only provide you a stunning smile but they can also support overall health, so the next time you feel lazy, just remember that dedicating an extra couple of minutes to floss every day can benefit long-term health.
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Nazareth, S. (2018, August 19). If We Told You Flossing Could Balance Blood Sugar & Decrease Inflammation, Would You Finally Do It? Retrieved from https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/flossing-inflammation-blood-sugar-balance
Face Value Dental. (1970, April 28). Top 5 Benefits of Flossing Teeth. Retrieved from https://www.facevaluedental.com/blog/article/top-5-benefits-of-flossing-teeth
Cunningham, M. (2011, September 07). 5 Reasons Why Flossing Is Extremely Important. Retrieved from https://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/products/5-reasons-flossing-is-important4.htm