Don’t Be Naughty And Remember To Floss

Oral_HealthThere is a bumper sticker and t-shirt slogan that comes out during the winter holiday season, and it usually gets a few laughs from adults who remember trying to be extra well-behaved during December: “Define ‘good.’”

Throughout our lives, we are often taught to do certain things so that we might get a reward from our parents, teachers, coaches, or another adult. However, one of the big lessons of adulthood is that some activities are worth doing because they are their own reward. In the realm of oral health, one of those activities is flossing.

Flossing is a simple task, once it’s been worked into your oral health routine. And it provides a host of gifts to those who do it consistently. Here’s just a sampling of what regular flossing can do for you.

Why Flossing Can Be So Nice For Your Oral Health … And The Rest Of Your Body

  1. It cleans the 40 percent of your teeth that brushing can’t. Flossing is the only effective way to clean the space between each tooth. If you opt out of flossing, you will leave two of your tooth’s five surfaces vulnerable to the accumulation of bacterial plaque.
  2. It keeps your gums healthier. Flossing disrupts and dislodges bacteria that hides near our gumline, which lowers the risk that it will cause gingivitis or periodontitis.
  3. It may reduce your chance of heart disease. Regular flossing can reduce the amount of periodontal inflammation, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Periodontal bacteria can attach itself to fatty plaques in blood vessels, so keeping your mouth free of these types of bacteria is essential.
  4. It may reduce the chance of oral health issues related to diabetes. Diabetes can cause blood vessels to thicken, which slows the removal of harmful wastes. This can weaken the resistance of gum and bone tissue to infection. By flossing, you keep your gums healthier, which may help you achieve better blood-sugar control and manage your diabetes better.

“Flossing is a gift we give to ourselves, that pays us back with vibrant oral health for the effort we make to remember this daily habit,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist with a practice in central Phoenix.

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