Though dental experts agree that daily flossing is an essential component of oral hygiene, far too many patients skip or neglect this important task. Flossing isn’t just for that pesky corn kernel left between your back teeth. Proper flossing is a powerful method for preventing bad breath as well as serious gum disease.
The Statistics Don’t Lie
Nearly 37% of Americans report that they never floss! However, did you know that when you refuse to floss, you are leaving up to 35% of your tooth surfaces unclean? When plaque, bacteria and food are allowed to remain in those tight spaces between your teeth and just under the gum line, you become extra vulnerable to gum disease. In fact, this is how gum disease typically begins. You may notice that your gums are puffy, red or bleed easily if you have the beginning stages of gum disease, otherwise known as gingivitis. To reverse this and restore health to your gums – floss more (even if it means some bleeding or “pink in the sink” at first).
If you leave gum disease untreated and still dismiss your flossing routine, you could end up with a more advanced stage of gum disease called periodontitis. At this stage, the infection can destroy the tissues and bone that keep your teeth in place. This is why gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.
Your Flossing Options
If you have an aversion to traditional string floss or you lack the dexterity to get the job done properly, you don’t have to give up the habit entirely. Today’s flossing products are expansive and include water flossers, handheld Y-shaped floss holders and much more. You can even pick your favorite flavor of floss to make it more enjoyable. Overall, the best type of flossing tool is the one you will actually use!
At Village Dental, we do our best to educate patients on the importance of flossing. Flossing should not be considered optional, as this simple and quick task can be an essential weapon against gum disease and its devastating impact on your oral health and body!