5 Benefits of Flossing
Do you ever wonder why your dentist reminds you to floss your teeth? It’s not to annoy you or make your daily routine more tedious — flossing is a crucial aspect of oral hygiene!
From preventing gum disease to improving overall health, our experienced dentist, Dr. Mullaney, explains the top five benefits of flossing your teeth here.
What Are the Benefits of Flossing?
- Prevents Gum Disease
- Reduces the Risk of Cavities
- Freshens Breath
- Gives You a Whiter Smile
- Improves Your Overall Health
Gum or periodontal disease is a serious infection that can cause your gums to bleed, recede, and become inflamed. It could also lead to tooth loss.
Flossing removes plaque and bacteria between your teeth — where your toothbrush can’t reach! This helps prevent the buildup of bacteria that could result in gum disease.
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that, if not removed, can harden into tartar — a hard, rough substance you can’t remove by brushing. Tartar provides a breeding ground for bacteria, which produce acids that attack the tooth enamel, leading to cavities.
Regular flossing means eliminating this bacteria and reducing your risk of developing cavities.
Built-up food particles and bacteria between your teeth can release foul-smelling gasses. When you floss, you disrupt the growth of bacteria between your teeth, remove food, and stimulate blood flow to your gums. This helps keep your breath fresh and your mouth healthy.
While it won’t whiten your teeth directly, flossing can help remove stains that build up on your teeth over time. These stains can be caused by various things, including smoking, drinking coffee or tea, and eating certain foods.
Plaque and leftover food also break down into acids that attack the tooth enamel and cause yellowing. Regular flossing removes these particles, giving you a brighter smile.
Flossing focuses on improving your oral health, but there can also be indirect benefits to your bodily health. Some potential connections include:
- Cardiovascular health – Some studies suggest a link between gum disease and an increased risk of cardiovascular problems, such as heart disease and stroke. It’s believed that the bacteria from periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and contribute to inflammation in the arteries. By flossing regularly, you may help reduce the oral bacteria contributing to cardiovascular problems.
- Respiratory health – Poor oral health, including gum disease and tooth decay, has been associated with respiratory infections such as pneumonia. Inhaling the bacteria from your mouth into your lungs could cause or exacerbate respiratory conditions.
- Diabetes management – People with diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease, which could make it more difficult to control their blood sugar levels. Daily flossing can reduce the risk of gum disease and potentially improve your diabetes management.
- Pregnancy outcomes – Poor oral health has been linked to certain adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth and low birth weight. Maintaining good oral hygiene practices, including flossing, during pregnancy could help prevent these complications.
When Should You Floss?
You can floss whenever is most convenient for you! Many people find flossing before brushing their teeth helpful because it loosens plaque and helps your toothbrush reach hard to get to areas.
Ultimately, the most important factor is consistency. No matter what time of day, aim to floss at least once a day.
Contact Our Alexandria Dentist Today!
Are you looking for a dentist? Look no further than Dr. Kathleen Mullaney, DDS. Our Alexandria dental office is committed to providing care for each of our patients in a comfortable, welcoming environment.
Whether you need a routine cleaning or a more complex dental procedure, don’t wait any longer to take care of your oral health. Call 240-532-3335 or contact us today to schedule an appointment with our team!
Author Bio: Dr. Kathleen Mullaney offers various general and cosmetic dentistry services in Alexandria, VA. She earned her doctorate in dental surgery from the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) and proudly served as a United States Navy dentist before opening her practice. With over 25 years of experience, Dr. Mullaney is delighted to be one of Old Town’s most respected and sought-after dentists! Call 240-532-3335 to schedule an appointment.