Flossing Benefits

Do you know about the link between oral health and overall health? Something that’s part of good oral hygiene practice is capable of protecting your health. Unfortunately, many people don’t do this as often as they should. We know this may not be what you want to hear, but we want you to make this part of your daily routine. It can help prevent several serious conditions.

Daily Flossing Helps Lower the Risk Of:

Heart Disease — According to the American Academy of Periodontology, patients with periodontal disease are twice as likely to have coronary artery disease. The inflammation resulting from gum disease can cause damage to the arteries.

Diabetes — The bacteria from gum disease may cause inflammation, which can contribute to insulin resistance and damage blood vessels. Insulin resistance increases the risk of becoming diabetic.

Gum Disease — When plaque remains on the teeth, it can cause inflammation of your gums, which can lead to gingivitis. Regular flossing helps reduce the buildup of plaque.

Bad Breath — When food particles and bacteria remain in your mouth too long, they give off bad odors, causing bad-smelling breath. Flossing every day removes the trapped food, which helps to eliminate odors.

Common Flossing Mistakes

Flossing Stops When Gums Bleed — If you haven’t regularly flossed, your gums will bleed at first. When you floss daily, the bleeding will subside as your gums become healthier.

Flossing Improperly — While flossing, don’t move the floss back and forth. Use an up and down motion to clean both sides of each tooth properly.

Flossing Too Much or Too Little — Flossing too much can cause damage to your gums and not flossing enough leads to a buildup of plaque and tartar.

Flossing Quickly — Slow it down. Take a few seconds on the sides of each tooth and carefully move the floss up and down at least 10 times.

The Proper Way to Floss

For good oral hygiene, floss once a day. Take the ends of a piece of floss approximately 15 to 18 inches long and wrap them around your middle fingers. Use 1–2 inches of floss per tooth. Place the floss between the teeth and wrap it around the side of the tooth. The floss should form the shape of the letter C. Slide the floss up and down each side of every tooth using a new section of floss for each side.

Brushing and flossing are meant to work together. When you don’t floss daily, you may leave up to 35 percent of the surface of your teeth vulnerable to decay. How long has it been since your last dental visit? Contact my office to schedule an appointment.


Dr. Britt