Although most people know that the question is coming, they still dread hearing the dentist ask, “So, have you been flossing your teeth?” The ugly truth is that most people ignore this step in their dental hygiene routine. Your dentist does not ask you whether you have been flossing as a “got ya” tactic – s/he asks because of how important flossing is to your complete health.
Brushing your teeth is a very important part of your dental routine. Brushing helps to keep the surfaces of the teeth clean, your breath fresh, and it helps to loosen plaque from the gum line. However, flossing picks up where brushing leaves off. Floss is the only tool designed to actually be able to scrape plaque away from the teeth. Plaque accumulates on the teeth every single day, and if it is allowed to remain on the teeth, cavities, decay, and infection will occur. If you are not flossing, you are simply allowing your teeth to be under constant attack from damaging plaque.
What your dentist truly wants you to understand is that the health of your mouth correlates to the health of your entire body. An infection inside the mouth can easily spread to other areas of the body via the blood stream. Your teeth, your gums, your cheeks, your tongue – every part of your mouth is alive and connected to the same blood stream that runs throughout your entire body. Many medical studies have proven without any shadow of doubt that diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, as well as many other serious medical conditions have a direct link to an unhealthy mouth. Maintaining ideal oral hygiene habits which include brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist twice a year help to ensure that your mouth is healthy.
The health of your mouth is a true indicator regarding the health of your body as a whole. At Group Health Dental, we want our patients to understand that neglecting the health of their mouths is neglecting their health. Flossing is not a suggestion; it is a necessary step in keeping your mouth as healthy as possible. Our dentists are happy to give you a lesson on proper flossing techniques. Flossing should only take approximately one minute of your time each day. That one minute can help you achieve and maintain a healthy smile for life and a greater level of health.