Serving Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN
Maintaining good oral health and avoiding cavities and gum disease has to do with committing to an excellent oral hygiene routine – brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and seeing the dentist twice a year. Most people commit to the daily brushing part, and going to the dentist twice a year seems to be common, but many more people skip one of the most important parts – flossing. Is flossing your teeth actually necessary? Today on the blog, our general dentists in Nashville answer this question and share what flossing your teeth have to do with your oral health and overall health.
Do I really need to floss?
Yes! Flossing is absolutely necessary for not only your oral health but your overall health as well. You may have seen a study published by the AP that stated there are no proven benefits to flossing. But this study was flawed, which researchers admitted in the study. It only lasted two weeks, which isn’t enough time for cavities or gum disease to develop. Additionally, one of the studies tested a small group of 25 people after having flossed only once. In other words, if a study says that exercising doesn’t help you lose weight and only measured results after a few workout sessions, would that make the results reliable? Nope!
Dental disease, cavities, and gum disease don’t happen overnight. Your oral health won’t take a turn for the worst just because you forgot to floss last night. Dental diseases develop over time and from inconsistent oral hygiene habits. Flossing is the single best way to clean between your teeth. We brush our teeth to clean the visible surfaces, but flossing cleans the areas we don’t see. Skipping this step means you leave a third of the surfaces of your teeth dirty and riddled with biofilm and bacteria.
What flossing does for your mouth and body
Our mouths need a thorough cleaning each day, which includes brushing and flossing our teeth. Lingering oral bacteria increases the risk of cavities and gum disease, an active infection that damages the gum tissue, jawbone and causes eventual tooth loss. The good news is that gum disease is preventable with good brushing and flossing habits, paired with routine dental visits.
Still not convinced? Harmful oral bacteria that are not removed from your mouth each day can actually have a significant bearing on your overall health. Studies report that oral bacteria related to gum disease increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and dementia. Additionally, studies have linked gum disease to a higher risk of premature births and low birth rates for babies. It’s estimated that 47.2% (almost half!) of adults over the age of 30 have gum disease, which is the number one cause of tooth loss among adults.
The good news is that gum disease is preventable in most cases. Floss daily, using the correct technique to successfully remove harmful oral bacteria from your mouth and get the best results for your oral health. You should use an up and down motion, not sawing back and forth, when flossing. If you aren’t sure whether you’re flossing correctly, ask your dental hygienist at your next visit or check out this step-by-step guide on how to floss.
Family Dentists in Nashville, Belle Meade, and Green Hills
Taking care of your teeth means taking care of your body, too. Commit to a few minutes each day and focus on your teeth and gums – brush thoroughly for two minutes at least twice a day, and floss after your last meal of the day. It would help if you also saw the dentist once every six months for routine checkups and cleanings for the best results. To learn more or schedule your next visit, contact Devine Dentistry by calling (615) 269-4209.