This oral health habit has more benefits than just preparing you for your visit to the dental clinic
Quick question: off the top of your head, when was the last time you flossed? Was it:
a) Right after your last dentist appointment?
b) In a frenzy right before your last trip to the dental clinic?
c) Attempting to impress a date?
d) On a regular basis/at least once a day?
If you answered yes to a, b, or c, then this article is for you. If you answered yes to d, then stick around and you might learn something new anyway.
See, it turns out that flossing isn’t just a great way for your dentist to make you feel awkward or uncomfortable, nor is it just a little extra boost to your dental hygiene. It’s actually an integral part of your oral care regimen, and if you’re skipping this part of the routine, then you’re leaving your teeth seriously vulnerable.
The tooth brush is a great invention, and it’s an indispensable tool for cleaning your teeth. It scrubs plaque, tartar, and food debris off the surfaces of your teeth, cleans your gums, and can even scrape gunk off your tongue. Throw in some mouthwash and things get pretty clean. But these tools can’t reach the spaces in between your teeth (which, if you think about it, accounts for a seriously large part of your mouth). Bacteria, plaque, and other unwanted things, however, have absolutely no problem getting in there. They can build up between the teeth, where your brush is powerless, and over time their negative effects can compound themselves many times over. If these spaces are only being cleaned when you visit a dental clinic, then you’re opening yourself to risks.
How Bad Could It Possibly Be?
The best-case scenario is that you will be at a greater risk of weakened enamel, cavities, and tooth decay. Because the mouth can be a breeding ground for bacteria under the right conditions, you’re also at risk for gum disease. If bacteria that has built up between your teeth enters your blood stream, it can create health complications. There is also a strong link between poor oral health and diabetes or increased risk of heart disease.
Okay, That’s Pretty Bad. What’s the Good News?
The good news is that ensuring great oral health is in your hands—literally! You don’t have to floss every time you brush, but any dentist will tell you that you should do it at least once a day. Before you go to bed is your best bet, as it prevents bacteria from multiplying overnight.
It may be difficult to pick up the habit at first. In fact, it can even be painful. The first few times can produce small amounts of blood, as your gums become inflamed by the plaque between your teeth. But the more you do it, the more comfortable it will become.
Don’t wait until your next trip to the dental clinic to clean between your teeth. Take control of your oral health and get into the habit of flossing now. Your teeth and gums will thank you for it.