Yes, You Should Still be Flossing Everyday
When you visit your dentist every six months for your cleaning and exam, your hygienist undoubtedly reminds you to floss regularly to maintain good oral health. But if you're like too many people, flossing is something you don't think about unless you've got some annoying food particle stuck between your teeth.
If you're tempted to slack in the flossing department, here are some reasons to get serious about your flossing and oral health habits to keep a healthy smile and even a healthy body!
FLOSSING HELPS PREVENT GUM AND PERIODONTAL DISEASE
Gum disease is more than just a painful oral health condition that leads to bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, and even tooth loss. It's also a potential contributor to major health issues such as diabetes and heart disease. The National Institutes of Health and the CDC both cite research indicating that the bacteria and microorganisms in the mouth that cause gum disease may travel to other areas in the body, increasing your risk of stroke, heart disease and even trouble controlling your blood sugar. In addition, if you already suffer from diabetes, gum disease may make it worse.
FLOSSING PROTECTS YOUR SMILE STRUCTURALLY
Besides helping to prevent cavities that can wreck the smile you and your dentist have spent years maintaining, flossing can even protect the bones that support the teeth and lower third of your face, a.k.a. the essential structures that maintain a youthful appearance. Think of flossing as an underappreciated "fountain of youth" when it comes to oral health.
TIPS FOR PROPER FLOSSING
- Try these flossing tips to get the best results:
- Snip off enough floss so it's easy to grasp and move between your teeth. Most people need at least an 18-inch piece to get the job done.
- Gently glide the floss between your teeth, never snap it up against your gums.
- Once the floss is next to the gum line, curve it around a tooth surface and move it up and down between the teeth.
- Repeat this process between each of your teeth and don't neglect the back side of your last molars!
- If you have trouble handling regular dental floss strands, ask your dentist or hygienist about dental picks, pre-threaded flossing tools or even water flossing machines.
Don't neglect regular flossing. This simple step can protect your natural smile and oral health and may even offer protection against illness and disease. Schedule your next cleaning at Great Lakes Dental and be sure to talk to your dentist if you have any signs or symptoms of periodontal disease.