Dental Health Tips: “Good Things Come to Those Who Floss!”

Dentistry is more than just teeth, it is about helping people with kindness and consideration, and guiding each person to a healthier, happier life. Unhealthy risks are lurking between your teeth, so try Flossing for Life! 

Flossing may protect your heart, reduce the risk of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, elevated cholesterol, Alzheimers, type 2 diabetes, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, (COPD) and pneumonia. Studies show that severe gum disease correlates with a dramatic increase in breast cancer. Flossing daily, along with regular professional cleanings helps prevent gum disease. 

Without regular flossing, your mouth and body can really suffer. Bacterial film (or plaque) accumulates on neglected teeth below the gum line. Gums become irritated and bleed and breath starts to smell bad. After a day or two plaque hardens into deposits, called tartar, that make it easier for more plaque to build up. Eventually, lack of flossing can lead to gingivitis, periodontal disease, and tooth loss. Fewer teeth lead to facial wrinkles and an aged appearance.

Flossing Research

New research suggests that regular flossing may affect more than the health of your mouth:

  • Flossing may protect your heart. Research has shown that periodontitis produces twice the risk of cardiovascular disease and elevated cholesterol.
  • Flossing may protect your arteries. Researchers also speculate that bacteria from the mouth may enter the bloodstream and contribute to inflammation and artery-clogging.
  • Flossing may reduce your risk of diabetes and its complications. Periodontal disease appears to make insulin resistance worse. Increases in blood insulin and blood sugar increase the development of type 2 diabetes.
  • Flossing may reduce your risk of stroke and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Flossing may reduce the risk for respiratory infections, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia.

How to Floss Your Teeth

Short of a visit to the dentist, no other oral healthcare habit alone has the same ability to remove plaque between teeth and below your gum line. Brush and floss properly every day. See a dental professional for cleaning at least two to four times per year and review your flossing techniques. When you floss, use these tips to get the most out of flossing: 

  • Slide the floss under your gum line and to gently curl it around each tooth as you floss.
  • Floss gently, but don't quit because your gums bleed Eventually, they will bleed less with regular flossing.
  • Use fresh floss for each tooth juncture.

Look for these signs of gum disease if you don’t floss:

  • Bleeding gums during brushing
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Pus between the teeth and gums
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

Simple daily flossing can clean away the bacteria around the teeth which cause an inflammatory reaction that have an effect throughout the body. Gum disease caused by bacteria results in loss of teeth and bone in the mouth causing wrinkles and an aged facial appearance. Gum disease increases the risk in the body of cardiovascular disease, elevated cholesterol, artery-clogging atherosclerosis, increases the development of type 2 diabetes, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory infections such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia. Flossing has the remarkable ability to prevent these problems successfully from home. Brush and floss properly every day.