For many of us, brushing our teeth is second nature. It’s so embedded in our daily routines that it seems innate, like putting on a seatbelt. Unfortunately, flossing doesn’t seem to be as common of a practice for many of our dental patients. Some people think it’s unnecessary, while others aren’t willing to sacrifice the time or energy it takes to make it a regular habit.

Well, we’re here to tell you that flossing is crucial to a healthy, beautiful smile. It has immediate benefits, as well as a lasting impact on your overall health. Here are some of the reasons why.

Cavities and Tooth Decay

If you floss on a regular basis, it can greatly reduce the risk of periodontal (gum) disease. Your tooth brush can remove unwanted plaque, but it can’t reach all of the crevices inside your mouth – especially between your teeth. Some people don’t floss because they think it causes their gums to bleed, but in reality, this is common symptom of gum disease. Flossing can reduce the chances of this disease happening or worsening over time, ultimately saving you from tooth decay.

Increased Risk of Other Diseases

Choosing not to floss can have negative effects on your overall health, not just your oral care. Since flossing removes harmful bacteria, it lessens the chance of this bacteria entering into your bloodstream and causing an infection. These infections can lead to blood clots, leaving your body vulnerable to heart conditions among other problems with your immune system.

Lingering Bad Breath

What would happen if you left food on the counter overnight? For a day or two? Perhaps even a week? This food would start to rot, and eventually produce an unpleasant smell that lingers throughout your home. If you’re not flossing, food particles can get trapped inside your mouth and produce an unwanted, embarrassing odor as well. Be mindful of the food you are eating, especially when you’re consuming foods that are more likely to get stuck between your teeth. These bacteria-causing particles can trigger physical and emotional distress if they’re not removed.

Final Thoughts

So, the next time you put down your tooth brush, pick up your floss and give your mouth the cleaning it needs. Not only will it safeguard your teeth and gums, it will also improve your overall health and reduce the risk of infection and disease. Even if you have a condition that prevents you from flossing regularly, like overly sensitive teeth, your dentist can provide some alternative solutions to make it more manageable. Invest a few more minutes in yourself each week to maintain a healthy smile that looks and feels great.