Is it Worth the Effort to Floss?

Poway and Rancho Bernardo, CA

If you want to keep your teeth and gums healthy, you have to put forth the effort – brush twice a day, floss daily, and see your Poway family dentist for checkups and cleanings twice a year. Most people are pretty good about brushing their teeth daily and see the dentist every six months, but only about 16% of adults floss their teeth every day. Additionally, the ADA reports unusual flossing habits that include using unsanitary or unsafe items to remove food from their teeth, including hair, file folders, toenails, and electrical wiring. Yes, you read that right! So today on the blog, Dr. Cook shares whether it’s worth it to floss and information on the best items for flossing your teeth.

Is flossing worth the effort?

is flossing worth the effort

Let’s cut to the chance. Yes, flossing is worth the minute or two it takes to do, and here’s why. Flossing is the equivalent of brushing between your teeth. While your toothbrush, if used correctly, does quite an excellent job at removing biofilm buildup and bacteria from the visible surfaces of your teeth, it can’t reach between your teeth effectively. Therefore, string floss is the best way to clean these areas of your mouth.

What happens if I don’t floss?

Not flossing means bacteria, food particles, and biofilm remain hidden between your teeth and along the gums, causing bad breath and increases your risk of gum disease. Nearly half of adults in the U.S. have gum disease, a chronic infection in the gums that requires professional dental care to treat and is the number one cause of tooth loss among adults. However, gum disease is entirely preventable by adhering to oral hygiene efforts (including daily flossing) and routine dental visits.

Think about it this way. Brushing your teeth and not flossing only cleans about two-thirds of the surfaces of your teeth. Would you only wash two-thirds of your body when you shower or cook your dinner two-thirds of the way done? Probably not! So, apply that same logic to your mouth because it is the window to your overall health.

Studies show that poor oral health increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Additionally, reports also show a link between gum disease and an increased risk of dementia. Therefore, protect your overall health by ensuring your keep your teeth and gums clean, which includes flossing every day.

What is the best way to clean between my teeth?

String floss has proven effective for decades. While there are different brands and varieties of floss on the market, choose the one that works best for you and fits your budget. There are also other items available, like floss picks, that make flossing your teeth easier if you have dexterity issues. Additionally, Waterpik Water Flossers are the first battery-operated interdental cleaner to earn the ADA’s seal of acceptance. This seal means that the product passed clinical and/or laboratory tests and meets the ADA’s clinical standards. Water flossers are also a great addition to your oral care routine if you have dental bridges or implants, or braces.

Family Dentist in Poway and Rancho Bernardo

Flossing should be a part of your daily oral hygiene routine, and its benefits are well worth the effort. Please look through our comprehensive flossing guide for step-by-step instructions on how to floss correctly. You’ll be a pro in no time! We are also happy to demonstrate proper flossing techniques during your visit. Call Smiles by Dr. Cook at (858) 673-0141 or contact us today.

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