Did you know that only 50.5% of the U.S. population flosses daily, and 18.5% never floss? If you’re like most Americans, you probably cringe inside each time your dental hygienist or dentist in Morton, IL, asks you if you’re flossing every day. However, skipping this often-overlooked oral health routine increases your risk of developing health conditions, such as severe gum disease, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Although flossing daily may not top your list of the most enjoyable things, there are many valid reasons why so many dental professionals encourage their patients to do it. We’ve pulled together some of the best reasons you should floss daily.
Top Reasons Why Flossing Daily Is Important
It Eliminates Plaque in Hard-to-Reach Areas
Plaque is the colorless sticky film of bacteria that collects on and between teeth and along the gumline. Moreover, it forms when oral bacteria mix with starchy or sugary foods and drinks. As bacteria feast on food particles stuck on teeth, they release acids that eat away at the tooth enamel. Unless you brush and floss regularly, plaque lingers on your teeth and turns into tartar that collects along the gumline, causing cavities and gum disease over time.
Plaque that builds up between your teeth can lead to more damage than you think. While other foods, your tongue, and saliva can remove some of them, flossing can eliminate those that accumulate between your teeth and your gumline.
It Reduces Bad Breath
The digestive acids from bacteria in built-up plaque can cause bad breath. Since flossing removes food trapped between teeth, it helps prevent foul-smelling breath. While plaque that builds up around teeth can contribute to bad breath, it also causes cavities and gum disease, which makes bad breath even worse.
It Helps Prevent Gum Disease
Did you know that one out of two American adults aged 30 and over has gum disease? Research shows that 64.7 million American adults deal with mild, moderate, or severe gum disease. Furthermore, prevalence rates increase to 70.1% in adults 65 years and older.
Gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, can cause swollen gums that bleed when brushing or flossing teeth. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a more advanced form of gum disease. Periodontitis can cause gum recession, jawbone deterioration, and tooth loss. Worse, periodontitis can trigger an inflammatory response throughout the body.
You can reduce your risk of gum disease by brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once daily. In addition, you’ll want to schedule professional dental cleanings every six months to ensure your gums stay healthy.
It Reduces Your Risk of Developing Health Problems
Studies show that gum disease doesn’t exclusively affect oral health. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with gum disease are twice as likely to have cardiovascular issues. Since gum disease triggers the body’s inflammatory response, it contributes to arthritis.
This condition is directly linked to other medical issues, including diabetes, cardiovascular issues, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Besides boosting oral hygiene, regular flossing is a low-cost way to improve overall health.
Looking for the Best Dentist in Morton, IL?
At Morton Dental Center, we offer high-quality and compassionate dental care with a small-town touch. If you’re ready for an exceptional experience at the dentist, contact our office today to make an appointment.