“Do you floss every day?” – it’s the question that most Australians hope to avoid being asked at their dental appointments.
Yet, even knowing that your dentist might ask about your flossing habits is still not enough to motivate many to make flossing a more regular part of their oral care routine.
Not only does flossing help keep your gums and teeth healthy, but did you know there is a significant correlation between flossing and preventing a wide variety of medical conditions.
1) The Floss Goes Where Toothbrushes Can’t
You might be someone who is very careful about tooth brushing, intentionally scrubbing every side of every tooth with the bristles of your toothbrush. You might even be someone who counts and keeps time, or brushes multiple times a day to ensure every tooth surface remains squeaky-clean. But despite your best efforts, there are places your brush can’t go.
In between your teeth, the bacteria that builds up can cause more damage than elsewhere on your teeth. This is because some of the bacteria that is not between your teeth is removed by your tongue, other foods and your saliva. But only by flossing can you remove the food residue, bacteria and plaque that builds up between teeth and along the gumline where your toothbrush can’t. If not flossed away properly, this plaque build-up will eat away at your enamel, causing cavities and gum disease.
2) Prevent Bad Breath Causing Plaque
It’s true; a comprehensive oral care routine will reward you with fresh breath as flossing away the trapped little bits of food in your mouth prevents bad-breath causing bacteria from finding somewhere to hide in between your teeth. Your mouth and breath will be fresher!
3) Fight Gum Disease & Heart Disease
Studies have found an incredibly strong link between oral health and cardiovascular (heart) health. In fact, those with gum disease have a 20% higher chance of developing heart disease – it’s believed this is caused by an inflammtory response that has the potential to narrow your arteries and blood vessels.
By keeping your teeth flossed and your gums healthy, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing heart disease later in life.
4) Control Diabetic Blood Sugar Levels
Are you diabetic? If so, then you have yet another very good reason to floss every day. People with type-2 diabetes who floss regularly have been found to have an easier time controlling their blood glucose levels.
5) If you are pregnant
Good oral health has also been closely linked to an infant’s health at birth. If you are expecting or are currently trying to get pregnant, flossing is one of the best things you can do for your baby, in addition to the usual prenatal care. Mums who don’t floss and who suffer from gum disease are also much more likely to give birth to children who are underweight or who are born prematurely. This may be related to inflammation caused by oral bacteria getting into the mother’s bloodstream. Thus, this is one critical reason to floss every day and keep your blood and baby healthy!
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