You are undoubtedly aware of the daily dental hygiene “brush and floss” drill as a proven way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease. You may be brushing…but are you flossing your teeth at least once a day?
It’s thought that dental floss was invented almost 200 years ago by an American dentist who insisted his patients clean between their teeth with fine, silk thread. Silk dental floss was first manufactured in the late 1880s but by the 1940s, nylon thread had replaced silk, and waxed floss was introduced. Today, you have a variety of floss styles, options and flavors at your fingertips.
Sadly, after years of education about the effectiveness of flossing, many people still do not floss. Whitening and bleaching are popular, along with straightening and veneers. There are many mouthwash choices on the market…clearly, we want whiter, straighter teeth and fresher breath, but we resist one of the best ways to ensure healthy teeth and gums.
As a not-so-gentle reminder if you are a “non-flosser,” here are a few reasons why you should make flossing a daily habit:
• Regular flossing removes plaque, which also helps prevent gum disease.
• Daily flossing encourages sweeter, fresher breath.
• Flossing reaches areas your toothbrush can’t, protecting your back teeth where most decay and gum disease occur.
• Flossing strengthens your gums which helps prevent gum disease and tooth loss.
• Flossing doesn’t hurt. If it does, you haven’t been flossing regularly.
One of the most important reasons for making flossing a daily habit is that daily flossing not only keeps your teeth healthy but studies have shown that it contributes to good oral hygiene – which is an essential component of your overall health. When plaque is attacked by flossing, harmful bacteria is eliminated and cannot find its way to other parts of your body.