Does Flossing Really Matter?
Flossing has real benefits to your oral health – use best practices to prevent damaging your gums.
Similar to the other parts of oral care, flossing is just as important as maintaining healthy, clean teeth. To properly floss your teeth, you need a long stretch of floss to slide between each tooth. When you slide the floss between your teeth, gently move in back and forth motions to clean out what has been left behind in your recent meal or snack. This helps your mouth feel cleaner and teeth feel smoother. However, contrary to what we have always been told, it may not be so bad if you do not floss as often.
Benefits of Flossing
Flossing simply protects your gums and gets rid of any “leftovers” you may have stuck in your gums. Brushing your teeth removes bacteria, food, and plaque that have settled on the enamel. Unlike brushing your teeth, flossing gets into the tight spaces where small food remnants can fit. Those same tight spaces are more vulnerable to decay and disease since they are so small, and bacteria or food can live there longer.
Another benefit to flossing is that it prevents heart disease. As odd as it may sound, extreme gingivitis can cause bacteria to get into the bloodstream which would lead to that same bacterium attacking organs and can result in blood clots or heart disease. Preventing gum disease through flossing is basically protecting your heart when done carefully.
Cons of Flossing
Flossing can be time consuming. If you are one that follows the two-minute minimum for brushing and the 30 seconds of mouthwash, then flossing an additional one to two minutes could feel like a burden after a while. Sometimes flossing can cut the gums and can cause bleeding. In some cases, flossing can release bacteria into the bloodstream. If too much force is applied while flossing, it can cause some pain and wiggle its way to the gums under your teeth which would, again, cause you to bleed.
Choosing Not to Floss
If you do not floss, then you would be saving yourself from the cons of flossing which means you do not have to worry about the extra time taken to floss. You also would not need to worry about cutting your gums and releasing any bad bacteria into the bloodstream. However, when you do not floss and have gingivitis that can become gum disease. Gum disease can progress into Periodontitis. Periodontitis is bone loss which would make each tooth weaker and lead to loss of teeth if not taken care of in a timely manner. If you are not experiencing any gum bleeding and you see a dentist regularly, you may be at less of a risk.
All in all, whether you choose to floss or not to floss is entirely up to you and your oral health. There are some great benefits of flossing and there are some cons as well. It is solely dependent on your well being and how serious you take oral hygiene.