According to a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 30 percent of Americans floss daily, while 32 percent never floss. Although the majority of these people probably brush regularly, they’re still missing out on a major aspect of their oral health. Some people may choose not to floss because of the added time or effort or their gums bleed or make them irritated. However, on the other hand, there are people who choose not to floss because they’re unaware of the health benefits. In this blog, we’re going to outline the top five benefits of flossing so that there’s no confusion.
It Prevents Plaque and Tartar
Bacteria and sugar that build up in the mouth aren’t too big of an issue until they start forming into a plaque, and worse, tartar. Plaque usually forms up around the gum line and can’t simply be washed away like sugar or bacteria and once it becomes tartar, not even brushing or flossing will help. You’ll need to see an oral health specialist for a professional cleaning. Although regular brushing and using mouth wash can help prevent plaque buildup on the front and back of the teeth, you still have to worry about the are in between your teeth. Flossing helps remove bacteria and sugar from between the teeth before it turns to plaque.
Preventing Bad Breath
Have you ever smelled your own breath (or someone else’s) and wondered how it’s possible to have such an awful smell coming from one person’s mouth? If you think about it, it’s not all that surprising that bad breath develops, even with people who have an impeccable oral health routine. We’re basically walking garbage disposals for food, most of which don’t mix well together. On top of that, our mouths already naturally produce bacteria and saliva that protects the teeth and gums. If your breath still smells after brushing, try adding flossing to your routine and your breath will be more bearable throughout the day.
Improving Gum Health
Preventing tooth decay and cavities is only part of the battle when it comes to oral health. Your gums are susceptible to gingivitis, gum disease, and worst of all, periodontitis which affects the deeper supporting structures of your teeth like the tooth roots, periodontal ligament, and jawbone. Periodontitis or periodontal disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss and is difficult to reverse without the help of an oral health specialist. Since flossing gets right up against the gum and even below the gum line, you’re not just helping the teeth, you’re removing harmful bacteria that will attack the gums.
Preventing Gum Soreness or Bleeding
Chances are, no matter who you ask, just about everyone has experienced gum soreness, pain, or bleeding at some point in their lives. And the truth is, many of us experience it on a regular basis. So, what options do we have for reducing this pain? Sometimes, brushing better or more frequently doesn’t do the trick. Flossing, on the other hand, reaches areas of the gum that aren’t reached by brushing and can help strengthen them and prevent them from bleeding so often or becoming irritated.
Preventing Gingival Hyperplasia
Gingival hyperplasia is defined as the overgrowth of gum tissue near the teeth. Although there are a number of known causes, one of the most common is poor oral hygiene. The problem with overgrown gum tissue is that it covers more of the teeth and traps more bacteria or plaque under the gum. Fortunately, brushing and flossing regularly are the best way to fight this. But if you’re still experiencing swollen or elongated gums, you should see an oral health specialist immediately.
Learn More From Our Orthodontists
Although orthodontists are, first and foremost, focused on the alignment of your teeth, that doesn’t mean your oral health isn’t important to us here at Camilo Riano Orthodontics. For many people, it’s difficult to maintain their oral health routine while braces are on. However, whenever you come in for your appointment, we will help you determine the best way to keep your teeth and gums clean while braces are on. Have any questions? Give us a call today.