Wondering why flossing is so important?
Or the reason why your dentist constantly tells you to add flossing to your oral hygiene routine?
Well, you see most people underestimate the importance of maintaining proper oral hygiene. They think that the worse that could happen is that they lose one or two teeth.
You’d be alarmed at how unconcerned some people are with losing a tooth here or there. After all, we do have 32 teeth, what’s one or two less hey?
So to tackle this clearly misinformed point of view, we are here to explain the importance of proper oral hygiene. Particularly why flossing is so important.
Just how important is flossing?
Flossing is the act of cleaning between the teeth. In these areas, food and bacteria tend to gather and multiply and they are shielded from the action of the toothbrush.
It is in those areas that most diseases of the mouth such as gum disease and decay start.
Flossing using different means (either traditional string floss, floss tape, interdental brushes, air flossers or water flossers) is the only act capable of properly cleaning those shielded areas.
It is the number one combatant to single-handedly reduce the chances of developing gum disease.
Is flossing more important than brushing?
Our mouths are delicate environments. They are made of teeth (32 in number in a fully grown adult), gum tissue, bones, tongue, muscles and the cheeks. Without flossing there a number of problems and conditions that could start in as little as 3 days. Here they are:
Plaque build up
Food remnants accumulate between the teeth and over time they turn into plaque. If this plaque is left uncleaned, it hardens into tartar, which is loaded with bacteria that could cause all sorts of dental problems starting.
Starting with gum disease and decay, which could eventually lead to tooth loss. Not only that, it is also virtually impossible to remove tartar with brushing and flossing. You would need to see your dentist.
Uncleaned food particles between the teeth are quickly fermented by bacteria and the output of that fermentation process is a horrible smell.
Neglecting flossing is probably the most important cause of bad breath, along with improper tongue cleaning.
Why is flossing good for your heart?
Not only does not flossing affect your oral health, it affects your general health as well.
Studies have shown how periodontal disease is linked to a variety of health issues. The link is well established with eye problems and joint problems, and is quite heavily linked with diabetes too.
But the most important issue here is your heart. Periodontal disease may be one of the causes of heart problems such as heart attacks and infective endocarditis. That is because the area around the tooth (aka the periodontal area) has a very rich blood supply.
This is considered a highway to the heart. So the bacteria in these regions find their way to the heart fairly quickly and life threatening problems could ensue. So in other words, flossing is good for your heart!
Consequences of losing teeth
The most unfortunate consequence of not flossing is unfortunately teeth loss. The process of losing a healthy tooth is extremely painful. Your tooth will start to be slowly eaten away by decay, the bone will become degraded making the tooth wobbly.
The only thing to do then is to have it extracted by a dentist and this is not at all a comfortable process.
Now think towards the future because there a
Our teeth are designed in such a way that they contact each other slightly, which allows the floss to pass easily between the teeth. When a tooth is lost, this contact disappears and as a result, the teeth begin tilting and drifting away from their original position.
So much so that if you decide later on to replace the lost tooth, you would need extremely heavy treatment or even braces to correct their position.
Each tooth we have is designed for a specific purpose in the eating and chewing cycle, and shaped to do that specific purpose. When you lose one tooth, you disrupt that cycle and as a result you are not eating as efficiently as you should.
Over time, the improperly chewed food could lead to stomach problems and indigestion as well.
Our teeth are so important in phonetics (that is the structure of speech). A missing tooth would mean that one of your phonetic instruments is lost. As a result, speech would be significantly impaired.
You might notice this with the elderly, or people who neglect their teeth so much that all of their teeth were lost. The classic “sunken lips and cheek” appearance that is characteristic to people without teeth is well known. This is quite difficult to repair even with dentures.
While a large variety of options are available to replace missing teeth, nothing resembles the feel and comfort of natural teeth.
Dentures are very easy to make but quite uncomfortable. Bridges are very comfortable but quite damaging to the remaining teeth and gums. Plus they are very hard to clean and maintain.
Implants are a very effective replacement but require surgery and are unbelievably expensive.!.
So isn’t it better to try and maintain your natural teeth as much as you can?
Why flossing is so important, answered!
So after learning why flossing is so important, you might ask yourself “is flossing more important than brushing?”
The hard truth is, one could not be effective without the other and neither could do the other’s job. Brushing is responsible for cleaning the visible surfaces of teeth. While flossing can only clean the invisible surfaces between the teeth.
So do not think that you can discard one and keep the other.