We’ve all heard that flossing is very important to our oral health, and yet most of us never actually do it. No one ever really wants to take the time to get some floss, wrap it around their fingers, place it between their teeth, and then move it to remove food or dental plaque. It takes up too much time and effort and if there’s no obvious reward or benefit to it, then why waste the time? Although you can’t reap any obvious rewards, there are many benefits to flossing that you would probably would not even think of. First, flossing removes the plaque from tight spaces between the teeth and under the gums that a toothbrush can’t reach. Tiny particles of food can get caught between the teeth and the gum, and plaque in this area will harden over time to create a thick tartar which can then only be removed by dentists with a scraper. A large buildup of this tartar can potentially lead to gingivitis- red, swollen gums that are the first stage of gum disease. By using floss, it can get into these small wedged places to prevent any diseases from surfacing. By preventing these gum diseases, you’re also preventing discolored teeth, discomfort, bad breath, and many other symptoms. Another big downfall of not flossing continuously is cavities, which also result from the buildup of tartar between the teeth and gums. These are permanently damaged areas in your teeth that develop into tiny holes and can only be treated with fillings and crowns. In a case of a severe cavity, some may need root canals or removal, which is never fun for anyone, unless you’re the dentist of course.
It is suggested to floss at least once a day, the best time being right before you go to bed to remove any food or plaque that could have potentially built up within the day. Flossing should be done with waxed floss because it won’t shed between the teeth. Although you may not see a point to flossing, keep doing it anyway! The initial signs of gum disease are easy to miss, and usually you won’t notice your teeth are in danger until gum disease is very advanced, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry! Remember, despite what some may think, bleeding comes are NEVER considered healthy. Take oral health seriously now or else you’ll have to suffer the serious consequences later.