Dental floss helps to prevent gingivitis and gum disease by getting rid of food and plaque from between your teeth. Plaque is a bacterium found on teeth, and if it builds up, the bacteria will irritate the gums and cause inflammation.
Your dentist may recommend using dental floss to clean between your teeth. The most common dental floss is a thin, soft thread made of nylon or plastic, but some people find dental tape, which is thicker than floss, easier to use. It is important to note that if you use dental floss incorrectly, it can potentially damage your gums.
Some people don’t like to floss because they say they don’t have the time or that it makes their gums bleed. The truth is that it doesn’t take long to floss and it makes for all around healthier gums. Flossing once a day, preferably at night, can even help to improve your overall health. Don’t forget to share these flossing tips with your kids.
Here are some of the best reasons to floss on a regular basis:
- It will prevent your gums from bleeding – A common complaint people have about flossing is that it makes their gums bleed. But not flossing could make the situation far worse. Inflammation from bacteria causes the bleeding, but if you keep at your flossing for two weeks the bleeding will stop.
- It helps control bad breath – A lot of the bacteria that cause gum disease create an odour if they start to colonize in between your teeth and underneath your gums. If you minimize or eliminate the signs of gum disease, chances are your breath will smell better. Instead of stocking up on breath mints, up your flossing.
- It will reduce general tooth loss – When you don’t clear out the bacteria in between your teeth and underneath your gums, your immune system releases enzymes to destroy the bacteria. These enzymes end up harming the bone surrounding the area, which explains why you may end up losing your teeth when you’re older.
- It saves you money in the long run – It’s simple: healthy gums mean fewer cavities and less gum disease, which, in turn, means fewer dentist trips and less of a chance of tooth loss. If you lose a tooth, you’ll have to spend money for things like a partial denture, bridge or implant. Why not do what you can to avoid expensive procedures?
- It can reduce birth risks – A woman’s hormones change when she’s pregnant, making her gums more sensitive. She’s no longer just flossing for one: If a woman who is pregnant has gum disease, the bacteria that cause it can enter her blood stream and go through the placenta. Not flossing puts a child at risk for low birth weight.
What are your thoughts on the importance of flossing? Be honest.
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