Flossing - Is it Worth the Effort?
Flossing your teeth every night can be a hard habit to develop, but it's one that is worth the effort. It provides a number of benefits---from simply having cleaner-feeling teeth to preventing cavities to even avoiding tooth loss. Flossing reaches the places a toothbrush can't, and it removes from between your teeth the food particles and bacteria that get trapped before they develop into plaque and tartar. The American Dental Association recommends flossing your teeth at least once a day.
I can honestly testify that since I took up flossing on a daily basis (sans 1 or 2 days - usually over the weekend!) my gums do not bleed while brushing. I have also been using only SOFT tooth brushes to clean my teeth. There is no logical reason for us to be using those hard tooth brushes! I suffer from quick plaque build-up. My dentist insists that I need to come in every three months for a cleaning because of this but at EC$200.00 a visit I will stick to the twice yearly cleaning. But I have definitely noticed a significant difference in my plaque build up since I've started flossing.
Flossing helps to prevent periodontal disease and gingivitis. Harvard Medical School researchers found that flossing removes bacteria and plaque from the teeth and gums, the same plaque which is absorbed into the blood stream and can clog arteries and veins.
Flossing after meals, especially after your last meal of the day, will help you become healthier in a number of ways. Flossing cleans any residual food particles from your mouth, which eliminates the taste from your taste buds (and subconscious).
To test this philosophy, try flossing and brushing after dessert and then revisit the pastry tray, it just doesn't have the same attraction. It’s like taking a shower and then rolling around in the dirt, it just doesn't make sense.
This is where I have gone wrong. I floss in the mornings when i have the time and patience to do it. Personally, I get up in the mornings and brush, floss, brush again (mainly just concentrating on my tongue) then gaggle with some mouth wash. I simply don't have the patience to do it at nights :-(
Secondly, it releases the pressure from little particles of food that are stuck in between your teeth and gums. It’s like pulling 4 or 5 pebbles out of your running shoes, the relief is instantaneous.
Then there is the halitosis factor. Rotten food smells bad. Flossing does for your teeth what vacuuming in between the seats, after a one week road trip with toddlers, does for your car. It gets the cheerios, french fries and pacifiers from collecting dust and stinking up your ride.
Flossing for your Overall HealthFlossing is about more than just your dental health. Yes, we all know that getting rid of the gunk between your teeth helps to prevent bad breath, plaque buildup, and gum disease. Brushing is good, but flossing is excellent.
Protect Your HeartPreventing plaque buildup can also help protect your heart, your blood, and your overall health and well being. Extra plaque between your teeth can enter your bloodstream and build up in the arteries of your heart. If you've heard of plaque buildup in your arteries, it’s the same thing! Plaque is plaque, whether it’s in your mouth or your heart. Gross, huh?
Prevent or Reduce InflammationAdditionally, when junk builds up in your mouth, you become more prone to cuts and minor oral infections. You might think that’s no big deal, but bodies work holistically. An infection in one part will increase inflammation everywhere, as your body works hard to heal the wound. Inflammation, especially chronic inflammation, is the root cause of many diseases and much dis-ease. Taking care of your mouth and making sure your gums aren't inflamed because they’re neglected is one way to care for your whole body.
Stuff to Know:If your gums bleed regularly or if you are prone to many mouth infections, even with twice-daily flossing, please see a dental care provider or a doctor. If you have any concerns about the state of your oral health, please consult with a professional.
A smile is a terrible thing to waste, so be good to your teeth, your gums, your heart and your kissing partner and make your mouth as clean as possible.
Do you usually floss before brushing, or brush before flossing?
Read more about the benefits of flossing here.