Three Reasons Why You Should Floss More

Three Reasons Why You Should Floss More

Most people have no problem brushing their teeth once or twice a day. We all know how essential it is, and beyond that, brushing feels good. Not only does it make your teeth feel clean and improve your breath, but it’s a relaxing daily ritual that for many people is a key part of waking up or going to bed. But how many people accompany their brushing with daily flossing, as almost all dentists advise?

A 2016 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finally answers the question: how many Americans actually floss? The results: 30 percent of the population flosses daily, slightly over 37 percent flosses occasionally, and slightly over 32 percent never flosses. These statistics are encouraging, but there is room for improvement. There are many reasons to floss daily. Combined with brushing, daily flossing will make your teeth their cleanest.

Flossing Prevents Plaque Buildup

Even if they don’t floss daily, many people get the urge to floss when they look in a mirror and see bits of food between their teeth. Indeed, it is important to keep the spaces between teeth clean. But the primary purpose of flossing is not to remove these large objects, but instead to address plaque buildup. Thanks to your saliva, bits of food will eventually dissolve, but without regular cleaning, plaque will build up between your teeth and could lead to cavities. If you are only an occasional flosser, shift your mindset about this useful practice. Flossing is good for more than the occasional cosmetic use. It’s about fighting plaque, day by day.

Flossing is Quick and Easy

Just like brushing takes only a few minutes, it is easy to fit flossing into your daily routine. It takes less than a minute to clean all those gaps between your teeth, and with that done, you’re free for the day. Some patients have difficulty in manipulating floss by hand, especially older patients who may be experiencing arthritis or decreased hand dexterity. In that case, use a two-pronged plastic floss holder. This device makes flossing so easy and convenient that you’ll want to do it every day!

Flossing Cleans All Your Teeth’s Surfaces

Think about the structure of your teeth. Each tooth has five surfaces: the front, the back, the chewing surfaces, and the two sides. Brushing cleans three of these surfaces: front, back, and the chewing surface. But without flossing, you’re missing two of your teeth’s five surfaces. Flossing is the only way to effectively clean between teeth, ensuring that all of them receive the proper attention every day. When you’re washing your car, you wouldn’t just clean the top, one of the sides, and the hood. You would clean the entire body: all five sides. Teeth are the same way. For the most thorough cleaning, brushing and flossing should work in tandem.

Every time you go to the dentist, you probably hear the same questions: “How often are you brushing? How often are you flossing?” Most patients know they should be brushing or flossing more, but find it difficult to change their habits. Flossing is fast, easier than ever, and one of the most effective methods for cleaning your teeth. For all these reasons, it should find a place in your daily routine.