Flossing: It Can do More Than Keep your Mouth Clean

Posted: June 21, 2010 by Matthew Casey in Articles, Science
Tags: , , , , , , ,

We all hate to do this, but there are added benefits that might make this mundane task a little more worth our time.

By Matthew Casey

If there is one thing that people really seem to hate doing, it is flossing. People may hate it more than income tax time.   Why? It isn’t exactly clear but it most likely has something to do with the time it takes to complete that one extra step of ensuring dental health.  If you are the type to dread the thought of taking the time to floss your teeth then you might want to reconsider your dental hygiene routine.  It turns out that flossing actually may have more benefits for your health than just keeping your mouth clean.

There are all kinds of products out there like fancy toothbrushes that spin and move in all directions, mouthwashes that claim to be loaded up with all kinds of good things to clean your mouth and toothpastes that have ingredients in them that most people don’t even know what they are offhand.  But the fact is even if you use all of these in combination for your oral health routine you are still not getting your mouth one hundred percent clean. According to saveyoursmile.com brushing without flossing is like only cleaning 65% of your body and leaving the other 35% dirty.  No matter how fancy your toothbrush is or how potent the mouthwash, there are places that they just won’t reach.  The spaces in between teeth are some of the most critical areas where bacteria can form.  This is because food particles will get trapped in those spaces and begins to rot which in turn creates bacteria.

If the thought of rotting food between your teeth is not enough to make you consider starting to floss as part of your regular routine, how about another benefit that you probably weren’t aware of?  A study put out by Emory University has found that people who floss daily live about 6.4 years longer on average than those who don’t floss.  Some of the reasons for this are that, as most are well aware, bacteria can lead to infections which under the right conditions can get into your body and make you sick and could ultimately kill you.  Another reason could be that flossing also helps to prevent periodontal disease which can lead to an increase in white blood cells.  This puts greater stress on the immune system which can make you more susceptible to getting ill and not being able to fight off bad bacteria in your system.  All of these factors together can be prevented with daily flossing which can in turn give people a better chance at living longer and healthier lives.

Many people often wonder how often they should floss.  According to the American Dental Association flossing once a day everyday is more than enough to keep a healthy mouth.  I’ll admit that I wasn’t big on flossing either, but after a lot of those regular “floss talks” from my dentist at my check ups I decided to make it a regular part of my daily routine.  After two years of doing it my oral health has improved greatly in a way that both my dentist and I notice.   So try it! It will make you and your dentist very happy and you might even be helping to increase your longevity as well.

Sources

Saveyoursmile.com
Why Flossing Your Teeth Is Important (associatedcontent.com)

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