At Horizon Dental, Dr. Matt Wood and the rest of our Salida dental staff wants every patient to enjoy the very best oral health possible. While scheduling regular dental exams and checkups with your dentist in Salida, Dr. Matt Wood, ranks as a vital part of protecting the long-term health of your teeth and gums, the most important habits you can have are to brush and floss daily.
Brushing helps remove harmful bacteria from the surface of your teeth and along the gum line while flossing works to remove bacteria and food particles from areas of your mouth a brush just cannot reach – between teeth and below the gum line. Unfortunately, despite the vital role flossing plays in protecting your overall health, millions of Americans ignore the habit entirely.
According to a recent study conducted by the American Dental Association nearly 40 percent of Americans fail to floss on a daily basis. Even more troubling, 18 percent said they never floss at all. Considering how infrequently many people stick to their flossing regimens it’s little surprise that the most common place for cavities to form is actually between a patient’s teeth!
Whether you never fail to floss or could stand to improve the frequency of your flossing habit, here are five reasons why you should always find the time to floss.
Cavities develop when harmful oral bacteria is allow to remain in the mouth. By failing to floss, you allow plaque an opportunity to linger between your teeth where it can slowly erode your enamel. In time, plaque will cause enough erosion that a cavity forms that requires a filling. Fortunately, you can greatly reduce your risk of tooth decay by quickly flossing between meals and before bed.
Plaque, the same substance that contributes to tooth decay, can also cause gum inflammation. Once your gums become inflamed you’re well on the road to developing gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. Gingivitis causes your gums to appear red, irritated and to bleed after brushing or flossing. If allowed to progress, gingivitis can become periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease and the leading cause of adult tooth loss. If you enjoy your teeth and want to keep them around, make sure to floss.
Oral bacteria and food particles that are allowed to fester in your mouth when you fail to floss are primary contributors to persistent bad breath. That’s because as these substances begin to break down in your mouth they begin to release gases that can make things pretty awkward the next time you lean in to kiss that someone special. Combined with brushing, flossing helps to eliminate the substances that cause such foul odors so your breath stays smelling its freshest.
In addition to increasing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease, plaque can also negatively impact the color of your smile as well. As tooth enamel becomes weaker due to the harmful secretions plaque produces while in the mouth, it loses the ability to resist the stains caused by some of our favorite foods. Tomatoes, soy sauce, berries, coffee, tea, soda and wine can all cause enamel discoloration, especially if the enamel is already being broken down by plaque and other harmful bacteria. So the cleaner your mouth remains, the brighter your smile will stay.
If you haven’t guessed by now, flossing makes your teeth and gums stronger, healthier and better looking. The more resilient and cleaner your mouth is to the effects of plaque and other harmful oral bacteria, the less money you’ll need to spend on dental treatments and procedures designed to repair the damage done by not flossing regularly. Save time and money by flossing more frequently.