August 25th, 2016
Flossing has been making headlines recently thanks to the U.S. departments of Health and Human Services Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The most recently released guidelines did not include flossing, which was once a recommended activity for daily health. But does this mean you shouldn’t floss every day? No, not at all. Not flossing can lead to serious dental problems. Trust us - we’ve seen how skipping the string can damage your oral health over and over again.
Though the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services didn’t include flossing in its 2015 dietary guidelines due to a lack of evidence, the department stated that this does not imply that flossing is not an important oral hygiene practice. In fact, the department stated that cleaning between teeth with floss is an important oral hygiene practice, and, along with professional cleanings and tooth brushing, has been shown to disrupt and remove plaque, according to the American Dental Association (ADA).
When it comes down to it, the U.S. Department of Health and Services didn’t include flossing this year because of a lack of documented research that flossing benefits you, not because it doesn’t actually provide any benefits. Flossing research is notoriously known for being high in costs and taking a long time, which explains why there isn’t a substantial amount of research showing its benefits. After all, it can take years to develop gum disease or tooth decay due to not flossing.
Here are four reasons why flossing every day is extremely important, and why you definitely shouldn’t stop now.
Clears Out Plaque in Tight Spaces
Sure, brushing can take care of plaque. But brush bristles can’t effectively clean out the tight spaces in between your teeth. And mouthwash typically isn’t powerful enough to move plaque that’s stuck between teeth. This is where floss comes in. Floss and interdental cleaners can clean out plaque that builds up between your teeth better than any other tools. Getting rid of that plaque will help to prevent cavities from forming in between your teeth and lower your risk of developing gum disease.
Fights Off Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
Scraps of food and bacteria can easily get stuck in the areas where your teeth and gums meet. These particles and bacteria can eventually transform from plaque into tartar, a hard deposit that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
If you don’t get rid of hard-to-reach plaque with floss, you may notice that your gums become red and swollen and bleed easily. This is a sign that you have gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. Left untreated, the plaque and tartar can spread deeper into your gum line, causing more severe gum disease (periodontitis), which can lead to tooth and bone loss. Bacteria can also eat away at your enamel and teeth, causing tooth decay.
Gets Your Teeth Looking as Good as New
Nobody wants to look at a smile only to find big clumps of plaque and rotting food between the teeth. Flossing your teeth can help to make your smile look beautiful by keeping it clear of the nasty stuff that can build up inside your mouth. This will result in a bolder, brighter smile.
Flossing isn’t all about oral health and appearance. It can also make your breath smell better than ever! If you don’t floss, food can sit in between your teeth and rot for weeks. As you can imagine, this doesn’t make your breath smell too great. Flossing will keep rotting food particles out of your mouth and allow saliva to effectively move through your teeth, keeping everything clean and smelling great!
Flossing every day is essential to your oral health. Without flossing, you wouldn’t be able to get rid of hard-to-reach plaque, which can lead to serious gum disease and tooth decay over time. Learn more about how often you should floss and common flossing mistakes here.