The Health Benefits of Flossing
Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. You’ve heard these instructions many times. But sometimes flossing gets overlooked. Has this ever happened to you? You’re running late for work or school, and you tell yourself, “I’ll floss tonight.” Then, when you get ready for bed at night you say, “I’ll do it in the morning.” It can easily happen. Are you flossing at least once a day?
The harmful bacteria in your mouth that can cause gum disease may spread throughout your body. The bacteria can put your body at risk for serious health conditions. At Dental Solutions of Mississippi, we want you to know how regular flossing can help your oral health and your overall health.
Regular Flossing Can Help Lower the Risk Of:
Diabetes — Bacteria from advanced gum disease (periodontitis) can spread through your body. The inflammation caused by the bacteria can contribute to insulin resistance and damage the blood vessels, which may increase the risk of developing diabetes.
Heart Disease — According to the American Academy of Periodontology, patients with periodontal disease are twice as likely to have coronary artery disease. Inflammation resulting from gum disease may cause damage to the arteries.
Gum Disease — Flossing regularly can help prevent plaque buildup. When plaque stays on your teeth too long, the bacteria inflames your gum tissue, which can cause mild gum disease (gingivitis).
Bad Breath — When pieces of food stay in your mouth too long, they break down. Foods such as dairy, fish, or meat break down into sulfur compounds. The compounds emit a foul odor, causing your breath to smell bad. Regular flossing removes the trapped food particles.
The Proper Way to Floss
Floss your teeth at least once daily. Grab a piece of floss 15 to 18 inches long and wrap the ends around the index fingers. Place the floss between your teeth, wrapping it around the side of the tooth. It should form the shape of the letter C. You slide the floss up and down gently along both sides of the adjacent teeth. Repeat this process until you have reached all of your teeth.
Brushing and flossing are a team. By not flossing regularly, you can leave up to 35 percent of the surfaces of your teeth vulnerable to decay. Toothbrush bristles can’t do it all. Floss reaches the bacteria and food stuck between your teeth and gums.
Remember to schedule regular exams and cleanings to maintain a healthy mouth. If it’s been six months since your last dental visit, call our office to schedule an appointment. We serve patients in Canton, Mississippi, and the surrounding areas.