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Why is Flossing Important?

Posted on October 25th, 2015 by Dr. Nikoo Daftary

When you visit your dentist for your checkup, he or she will likely ask you if you’ve been flossing. The American Dental Association recommends flossing once a day, but more often than not, patients aren’t following that recommendation. If you are one of those people, you should realize that flossing is important because it plays a significant role in your dental health. Even if you brush your teeth at least twice a day as you should, the truth is there are areas on your teeth your brush just cannot reach. Besides keeping your smile looking and feeling great, flossing offers a variety of benefits, such as:

  1. The addition of flossing to your dental health routine is more effective than just brushing. Brushing is obviously the key component in keeping your mouth healthy, but you aren’t cleaning as much as you could be without flossing. Your toothbrush removes plaque from the surfaces of your teeth and reduces the amount of bacteria in the mouth. However, it is difficult for your brush’s bristles to reach between the teeth; this is where floss plays a large role. It is made to get the plaque out from the small spaces between the teeth and under the gums.
  2. Flossing can protect your gums. The lower and upper jaw bones anchor teeth by their roots, which are covered by gum tissue. Plaque buildup in the place where the gums and teeth meet can form into tartar, a thick deposit that only your dentist can remove. If not removed early, this can develop into red, swollen and painful gums, a condition known as gingivitis. Untreated gingivitis causes periodontitis, a severe disease of the gums. Flossing removes food particles lodged in the gums and prevent the onset of such diseases.
  3. Flossing helps prevent other health conditions. The effects of diseases in the teeth and gums extends far beyond the mouth. Research suggests that bacteria in the mouth can harm the rest of the body and contribute to systemic diseases such as diabetes, respiratory illness and heart disease. Therefore, flossing to increase oral health can play a part in the prevention of life-threatening diseases. Just a few dollars and a few minutes of your day can be a large step in boosting overall health.

If you have additional questions about the benefits of flossing, how to floss properly, or anything else related to oral health care, contact us at Art of Modern Dentistry. It is our goal to ensure all our patients have a happy, healthy life that starts with their smile.
 
Courtesy of How Stuff Works Health

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