At every routine check up, there comes the part where your dentist starts to floss your teeth. This is a true testament to your oral health to see if you’ve really been taking care of your teeth properly. Of course, when they ask you “have you been flossing?” you reply “Yes, I have” or maybe you just give a quick nod, to shoo away the question. Well the time has come to see if you are indeed telling the truth about this.

We all know that we’re supposed to be flossing, and that its good for us. But, let’s take a deeper look at why flossing is so important and why our dentist harass us every time we say we’re not flossing. At Smiles by Dr. Santos, we want to help our patients understand the real benefits of flossing and not just that “it’s good for you.” If you have any further questions about flossing, please contact us and we’d be happy to answer you!

Prevention of Gingivitis

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, which can be a very painful condition if it is not treated right away. Symptoms of this include bleeding or swollen gums, especially when flossing for the first time. The easiest prevention of Gingivitis is just by flossing daily. This can help remove the buildup of plaque that leads to this disease. If gum disease is not treated in a timely manner, it can lead to tooth decay and root canal issues. These issues are not only extremely painful but can then require oral surgery which is both a burden on you and your wallet. A package of flossing picks for less than 10$ is worth it, trust us.

Reduces Bad Breath

If you’re noticing bad breath, flossing is a very simple solution to this. Yes there are certain foods we consume which can lead to bad breath, but it is mainly caused by the buildup of tartar. While regular brushing can help decrease the build up, flossing helps remove tartar from those places a regular toothbrush can miss. Typically, those who experience bad breath and start flossing regularly note improvements within a least a week.

More Effective Than Brushing

Brushing is a daily part of (hopefully) everyone’s routine and while brushing is so important, flossing is too. Brushing and flossing work together to preserve your overall dental health. No matter how well you brush, there is still 35% of your teeth surfaces that remain unclean when you neglect to floss. Floss is more able to effectively rid your mouth of food and bacteria that may be trapped in between your teeth.

Prevention of Heart Disease

When you neglect to floss, your gums are more prone to bleeding (a sign of gingivitis). Through that bleeding, your bloodstream is more susceptible to outside bacteria. This bacteria can enter the bloodstream and start attacking your organs. This can then eventually lead to heart disease and blood clots. There is some evidence to suggest that flossing for men is a simple way to decrease their chances of getting heart disease.

Reduces the Risk of Respiratory Disease

Your mouth is a direct channel to all of the organs in your body. While this is a great thing for your digestive system, it can be a problem for your respiratory system. Any and all bacteria can travel down your throat and into the respiratory system. Flossing can help eliminate some of the oral bacteria that causes bronchitis and pneumonia, helping your oral health and your immune system.

Hopefully now you can understand why we, as dentists, are so adamant when encouraging our patients to floss. Flossing should be incorporated into a person’s daily routine, just like brushing is. Remember, if you have children, encourage them to floss daily too. Children can be way more susceptible to bacteria and it’s important to set up with their knowledge of how to take care of themselves. While they may be less than enthusiastic, their gums and your wallet will thank you later.

Here at Smiles by Dr. Santos, we offer a variety of services to help you get not only the best smile, but the best oral health. From routine teeth cleanings, dental surgery, cosmetic work, and even emergency dental treatment, we are here for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. We can’t wait to see your smile!