An image of a package of floss.

All of us have been told that we need to be flossing our teeth, alongside brushing them. When we visit the dentist, they usually ask, “Are you regularly flossing your teeth?” and most of us tend to answer “Yes,” even if we haven’t been flossing as much as we should. Instead of just accepting that we need to floss our teeth, it’s important that we understand why we should do it.  In this blog post, we are going to be discussing the importance of flossing and how flossing affects your overall oral health. Keep reading to learn more! 

To start off simply, regular use of dental floss removes plaque, which also helps to prevent the buildup of plaque that can lead to tartar. It can also help your teeth appear brighter and more vibrant by removing excess food particles that you may not see in the mirror or in areas that are harder to reach for your toothbrush. Think of it like vacuuming the carpet in your home. While your floors may look clean, once you vacuum the floor and check the bag, there is so much dirt and dust that has been building up even if you can’t see it. The same thing applies to your mouth! Make sure that you’re getting all of the excess bacteria and leftover food particles from your mouth to keep it clean and healthy!

Aside from keeping your teeth and gums healthy, there have also been large amounts of studies that have linked periodontal disease to an increased risk of heart disease, which is one of the number one killers in America. Researchers have found that mouth infections can increase the levels of inflammatory substances in the blood which then can promote blood clots and slow blood flow. While more research is needed to use this as a scientific fact, these studies are growing and showing increasing evidence. Some scientists also believe that bacteria from the mouth can easily enter into the bloodstream and impact your cardiovascular system that way. Of course, flossing is not a cure all, but the fact that it could help give you a healthier heart is worth it all! 

Flossing helps prevent tooth decay and can reduce your risk for developing gum disease by removing plaque, which we mentioned earlier. It also decreases your likelihood of developing gum disease or gingivitis. Food or bacteria that sits in between our teeth is much harder for our regular toothbrushes to remove, and overtime can cause tooth decay and other harmful and more serious required procedures. Flossing regularly also allows you to focus harder on your teeth. There are certain conditions, including some types of cancers, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, and eating disorders, that can cause lesions in the mouth along with redness and swelling of the gums. These may be a bit tricky to spot if you’re just brushing your teeth and not getting up close and personal. 

Daily flossing, at least twice a day, is one of the biggest components of plaque removal. It really is something so easy, but some reason people tend to skip out on it. We hope that this gave you some insight as to why flossing is so important! At Smiles by Dr. Santos, we want to help you continue your oral care, and whether you’re looking for routine cleaning and preventative services or needing something more cosmetic, we’re here for you! We’re so excited to announce that we are once again open for normal routine procedures and can’t wait to see you. Please connect with us directly before coming into our office as we do have certain procedures in order to keep everyone safe and healthy. We’re also currently accepting new patients!