Most people understand that, if they want to keep their teeth as well as their friends, they must brush their teeth regularly to protect their oral health and to keep their breath fresh. Flossing is the second most important daily habit for a healthy smile but it’s also something a lot of people skip most of the time and perhaps save for just before a visit to the dentist. So, while there’s no law saying you have to floss, it’s a habit that could save you a great deal of heartache for a very small investment of time. 

 “Wasn’t There a Study that Said Flossing Wasn’t Important?”

Not quite. A few years back, flossing-haters thought they’d found an excuse to ignore their dentists. U.S. dietary guidelines left flossing out of their recommendations while including regular brushing. The authors of the guidelines said they couldn’t find enough scientific backing to say with certainty that flossing prevented cavities and other issues. However, not having proof does not mean that no proof exists, it just means that it has not yet been found and more study is needed. In the meantime, there are a great many common sense reasons people should floss daily.

    • Flossing Helps You Keep Track of Your Gum Health
      Many people avoid flossing because they may experience some very minor discomfort and bleeding when they try it out once or twice a year. That’s often because sometimes new flossers may cut their gums slightly. If this happens, gums should adjust rapidly and any minor discomfort or slight bleeding should stop being a factor with daily use. If the bleeding and significant pain persists or gets worse, however, that’s a reason to take notice and to let your dentist know immediately. You may have bleeding gums, an important warning sign of gum disease. Left unchecked, periodontal problems can result in the loss of multiple teeth and long-term serious health impacts. The sooner you find out about that, the better.
    • And What About Your Breath?
      We all know what food smells like as it decays in a garbage bin. Well, guess what? The tiny bits of food caught between our teeth don’t smell particularly great as they begin to decompose either. Freeing the food residue between your teeth before brushing assures that it’s not lingering to grow both tooth decay and unpleasant smells. Flossing also gets food residue out of the way so that fluoride and the minty freshness of your toothpaste do their work.
    • It Feels Good, Physically! (For Some People, Anyway)
      For people with more space between their teeth, food can get more easily stuck and can create a mildly annoying feeling that can become very annoying over time. Toothpicks are better than nothing but, with dental floss – or even thicker dental tape — particles are more fully removed which can be a relief. For a subset of people who get into the flossing habit, it becomes something they would do even if no one said they should.
    • Peace of Mind
      We obviously don’t know you, dear reader, but we can say with near certainty that you’d rather not suffer extremely painful toothaches, lose your teeth, experience inflamed bleeding gums, or the persistent bad breath (halitosis) that comes with gum disease. Also, since advanced gum-related periodontal problems have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and strokes, we’re pretty sure you’d prefer to avoid those also. Regular flossing along with brushing and regular dental visits means that you can honestly say you’re taking the best care of your oral health.

When Prevention Fails

Of course, when people develop serious oral health problems for any reason dentist offices like ours can offer treatments to save teeth, such as fillings or root canals, as well as dental implants to fully replace teeth that have to be extracted. But it’s always better to save yourself time, trouble, and money by preventing problems from happening in the first place.  

Even if You’re Brushing and Flossing Every Day, You Still Need to See a Dentist!

Everyone should be visiting their dentist twice a year for cleaning and an annual exam. If you’re not benefiting from preventive general dentistry you need to find a good dental office to visit regularly. 

If you live in the Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley area, that means Premier Care Dental Group. To get in touch, call us at the number on your screen or visit our contact page.