Before you turn off your ears and chalk this up to yet another flossing lecture, take a second to realize how important your teeth are to you. Think about how hard your life would be without teeth, and then remember that flossing is the most important thing you can do to prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay – the two main causes of tooth loss. We understand that flossing can seem like an arduous task to perform, but its benefits far outweigh the time spent in front of the bathroom mirror, here are some reasons why Floss is Boss
Prevents Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease affects more than half of the American, adult population. It is even more prevalent in the elderly. It is characterized by a bacterial infection of the gums and surrounding tissues and causes tooth loss, bad breath, and has been recently linked to a slew of chronic illnesses. Flossing once a day is the only way you can remove the harmful bacteria that causes periodontal disease from in between your teeth and below your gum line every day. Some bacteria is just too deep for a toothbrush to reach and floss is the magical tool that can remove it without a dentist’s help.
It is Easy to Do
So many people claim they don’t have the time, or don’t take the time to floss every day. This is always problematic to hear, because flossing is so easy to do. To effectively floss you only need a length of waxed floss. Wrap this floss around each of your middle fingers so you can guide the floss with your index finger and thumb. Take the floss between every tooth, make sure to take the floss up above the curve of the tooth in the gum to remove all the bacteria and debris. You have less spaces in your mouth than teeth, so this practice should take much less time than brushing your teeth.
Flossing Can Indicate if You Have Gingivitis
Flossing is also an inextricable part of understanding your healthy body. When you floss and bleed, you know that your gums need some attention. This can be an indication of the first stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis. By flossing and understanding your oral health, when you see signs of dental drama, you can schedule an appointment with your Jacksonville dentist and have the problem accurately diagnosed and treated before it progresses into periodontal disease.
Flossing Has Come A Long Way
The use of floss did not begin until the early 1800s. A dentist in New Orleans began instructing his patients to use a length of silk for interdental cleaning. Previous to this the use of toothpicks was common to remove obstructions, like popcorn kernels and bits of gristly meat. In 1882, companies like Johnson & Johnson and Codman and Shurtleft Company began to produce the first form of dental floss for consumers. Silk flosses gave way to nylon flosses and before you know it the wax-coated, flavored varieties we use today were brought to market.
Flossing is Easier Than Ever
Because so many people don’t take the time to floss, many new flossing inventions have been created to help make this easy process even easier. Pre-threaded flossers make it easy to get in between every tooth without having to put much of your hand in your mouth. There are even models that resemble toothbrushes so the user doesn’t even have to touch the floss. There are also Water-Pics that is a mechanical tool that uses water or an antiseptic dental solution to clean in between teeth. If you have any qualms about flossing, you can be sure that there is a tool to help you floss without feeling like you’re flossing.
Flossing is one of the most important actions you can take every day. It’s a simple way to keep your mouth clean and healthy by removing harmful bacteria, acids and sugars that promote tooth decay and periodontal disease. The amount of time you spend cleaning in between your teeth with floss is well compensated by preventing tooth loss and the possibility of aiding the onset of Alzheimer’s, pancreatic cancer, and cardiovascular issues. If you need help flossing, would like tips or encouragement, don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Shields. We love it when our patients are avid flossers and would love to help you create and stick with this healthy habit!