It seems like every dentist recommends flossing to their patients. While everyone is told that flossing is a great practice, what makes it so beneficial for our oral health? In addition, what should we do if we keep forgetting to floss or if we find flossing displeasing? Luckily, there are a lot of things you can do to comfortably incorporate flossing into your dental health routine.
Why is Flossing So Crucial?
Flossing can greatly benefit your dental health. Though brushing your teeth twice daily is great for your oral health, it often doesn’t reach every area of your mouth and can leave behind food debris, plaque, and bacteria. Flossing reaches these areas that your toothbrush may gloss over and removes anything that may remain after you brush your teeth. The American Dental Association, or ADA, has also reported that flossing removes the plaque left behind by your toothbrush that may cause cavities and gum disease. Some other benefits of regular flossing include:
- It reduces bad breath- Sometimes when food gets trapped between our teeth, it can lead to decay which can emit a bad smell and affect your breath. Flossing removes these food particles and prevents them from impacting your oral health.
- It reduces the risk of respiratory disease- Poor oral health has been linked to the development of respiratory diseases. This is because leftover bacteria can travel down your throat and cause issues. The more regularly and efficiently you floss your teeth, the less of a chance you have of developing a respiratory issue.
- It reduces your risk of developing heart disease- While this may seem surprising, it’s true! Sometimes when we floss irregularly, it can cause our gums to bleed which may be a sign of gingivitis. When this happens, bacteria is allowed to enter your bloodstream and may attack organs like the heart and cause blood clots or heart disease.
Not only is it important to floss for the benefit of your oral health, but also for the health of your entire body. Incorporating regular flossing into your life can help prevent dangerous and life-altering diseases.
How to Make Flossing Easier
Some people may find flossing frustrating but there are many great ways to reduce that frustration and ensure that flossing is a pleasant experience. Some tactics that you may want to incorporate into your flossing routine are:
- Using the right floss- Choosing the right floss for your dental needs is a major necessity! If your gums are bleeding after flossing you may need to change the floss you’re using. Some people have sensitive gums and may require less aggressive-feeling floss.
- Be gentle- While it is important to make sure that your floss isn’t aggressive, it is also important to not be aggressive, yourself. Try to be gentle with your gums and take your time wrapping the floss around your teeth so that you don’t bleed.
- Use enough floss- It’s always better to use too much floss than too little. Make sure that you use enough to ensure you have a good, solid grip and enough to use between all of your teeth.
In addition to these useful flossing tactics and techniques, it may also be beneficial for you to schedule flossing at a certain time if you have trouble remembering to floss. For example, every night at 8 pm you floss your teeth so that you get into the habit of incorporating flossing into your schedule.