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Is Flossing Still Important?

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Published: February 6, 2019

Most of us can agree that dentists stress how vital flossing is to our oral hygiene. Even though there are numerous options available besides traditional floss, from toothpicks to electrical devices, many neglect removing harmful food particles and plaque between their teeth.

Regardless of the method, it is crucial to understand why flossing is an essential factor in maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile.

Threatening Your Oral Health

Plain and simple; when you do not floss, you are at risk for significant oral complications such as gingivitis and cavities. Plaque buildup is not removed correctly and continues to progress. The bacteria in calculus irritate the gum tissue, causing inflammation and bleeding. This, in turn, allows for more harmful microbes to grow, inevitably leading to gingivitis, the earliest form of periodontitis.

Cavities forming between teeth result from choosing not to floss. The same plaque that contributes to periodontal disease also damages the enamel, potentially forming cavities.

The Additional Benefits to Flossing

  •     Fights Bad Breath- Also known as halitosis, this condition is more common than most realize but is actually an initial symptom of gum disease. Daily flossing improves bad breath by effectively removing leftover food particles and bacterial buildup.
  •     Boosts Self-Esteem- An aesthetically pleasing smile free of decay or infection significantly enhances one’s confidence. By flossing, you greatly increase the protection against the harmful plaque that leads to dental complications.
  •     Maintains Healthy Gums- Because gum tissue is at risk from periodontitis due to damaging microbial buildup, unhealthy gums can eventually lead to loss of bone supporting the teeth. Flossing regularly is one of the most effective ways to prevent periodontal disease as it can reach the tight spaces between teeth and under the gum that brushing cannot.
  •     Contributes to Overall Health- Systemic illnesses that affect multiple organs throughout the body such as heart disease and diabetes have been linked to poor dental health. If periodontal complications directly impact your general wellness, taking a few minutes to floss produces considerable benefits.

Dr. Neil McLeod has been practicing preventive dentistry for over 40 years and is dedicated to preserving and restoring the patient smiles. Call or visit our West Hollywood practice today to schedule your comprehensive dental cleaning.

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