Although some people (including this notorious piece from the New York Times) have called the benefits of daily flossing into question, but many dental professionals have made it clear that they believe daily flossing is still an important part of an oral hygiene regimen. Here are the seven reasons why.
1. Reducing the Risk of Periodontal Disease
Research on over 1000 sets of fraternal twins (performed by New York University’s College of Dentistry) showed that among twins, those who flossed daily had a significantly lower occurrence of periodontal diseases.
2. Removing Dangerous, Cavity-Causing Bacteria
By serving as an interdental (between the teeth) cleanser, floss removes the bacteria that causes cavities and other oral problems.
3. Less Gingivial Bleeding
If your gums tend to bleed after you brush your teeth, it’s a sign that you should be flossing more regularly. Gingivial bleeding is one of the many conditions that daily flossing can treat.
4. Lower Overall Risk of Cavities
With a lowered level of bacteria, plaque, and other harmful matter, flossing daily (in addition to proper brushing) is your best bet to keep cavities at bay.
5. More Effective than Simply Brushing
Simply brushing your teeth isn’t necessarily enough to have good oral health; toothbrushes don’t have the ability to clean between teeth or under your gums.
6. It Can Save You Money
While there are expensive interdental cleaning options, a simple container of floss is by far the most cost-effective way to remove tartar, plaque, and other bacteria. This not only saves you money on oral care products, but hopefully dental visits as well.
7. Preventing Other Diseases
Though the level of correlation is debated, it’s generally agreed upon (including the relevant WebMd page) that poor oral health can contribute and even cause other diseases.
Over time, the build-up of plaque and other mouth bacteria has been shown to lead to diseases in other parts of the body, including diabetes and heart disease. Flossing is an easy way to make sure you don’t put yourself at further risk of developing these conditions.
There you have them–seven compelling reasons why your dentist will most likely still ask you if you’ve been flossing every day at your next appointment. It’s budget-friendly, has plenty of health benefits (for oral as well as overall health), and it only takes a little extra time and effort. Feel free to comment or share with somebody who doesn’t think daily flossing is still important!