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Is Flossing Necessary?

HomeGum HealthIs Flossing Necessary?

close up of a woman flossing her teeth to prevent tooth decay

Have you ever been doing your nighttime dental routine and decided to skip flossing? It may be tempting, but it’s an important step in your oral health care. Here, we’ll explain why flossing is very necessary for a healthy and happy mouth.

Why Is Flossing Necessary for Your Teeth?

When you floss, you are removing plaque, the sticky film that coats teeth and contains harmful bacteria from your teeth. When plaque builds up on your teeth and gum line, the bacteria and acid in plaque attacks your tooth enamel, which is the hard outer shell of your teeth that acts as your first line of defense against decay and infection. When you floss, you also dislodge particles of food that are leftover in your mouth after you’ve finished eating. If left there, these food particles are fed on by bacteria and then converted into acids that weaken enamel and lead to cavities. You are also protecting your gums when you floss because removing food and plaque from between your teeth and gums can prevent gingivitis, or gum disease. By removing the plaque and food particles from your teeth, your teeth will also look brighter and won’t be at risk for tooth decay, gingivitis, and other serious oral health issues.

Why Is Flossing Necessary for Your Overall Health?

As mentioned above, when you floss you are preventing gingivitis from developing. If you don’t regularly floss and contract gingivitis, it can progress into periodontal disease, an advanced form of gum disease. When your gums are suffering from periodontal disease, the rest of your body is also at risk of infection because the bacteria from periodontal disease can enter your bloodstream and make its way to further infect other parts of your body like your respiratory tract or even your heart. Periodontal disease has also been linked to diabetes and can even contribute to low birth weight in babies.

How Do You Incorporate Flossing Into Your Oral Health Care Routine?

Flossing should be done at least once a day, preferably after you’ve eaten dinner (or any late night snacks) so that you can remove and dislodge any food that’s stuck between your teeth. It doesn’t matter if you use the floss picks or traditional floss, as long as you are flossing between every single tooth, even those hard to reach ones in the back. If you are just starting to floss for the first time or haven’t flossed in a while, you may experience some bleeding, but that is very normal and should go away after about a week of consistent flossing.

Come See Us!

Coming in for regular checkups and cleanings is also vital for your oral health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you.

Written by

John Cutting, DMD is an Annapolis dentist experienced in all aspects of dentistry. He provides complete care from general dentistry to cosmetic and restorative dentistry in his conveniently located and comfortable office, Edgewater Dental Arts.