DENTAL FLOSS! You probably are no stranger to this term, you must have heard this term countless times and seen a lot of advertisements about it. You probably have seen many dentists rave about the usage of dental floss or heard your dentist say – “You need to start using floss”. However, have you ever wondered why is it so important to floss your teeth and what is all the hype about? If your answer to the above question was YES then read ahead!

Flossing Helps to Get Rid of Plaque

Flossing helps to mechanically remove food debris and plaque which gets accumulated in the oral cavity. This acts as a protective haven to the disease-causing bacteria which leads to oral diseases. Flossing gets rid of this, thus help maintain good oral hygiene and prevent plaque build up.

Dental Floss Reaches Area That Toothbrush Cannot

There are certain cracks and crevices of the oral cavity which a toothbrush cannot reach. The food debris gets accumulated in these tiny gaps present between teeth that are not accessible by a toothbrush. This slowly matures to form plaque and further calcifies to form calculus if not mechanically removed. Dental floss can easily reach these inaccessible areas, thus making sure it stays clean.

Flossing Helps Prevent Gum Disease 

Plaque and calculus forms in inaccessible areas harbor disease-causing bacteria. These bacteria release noxious substances into the peripheral areas of the oral cavity leading to gum diseases. A floss can easily reach these areas and removes the food debris and plaque accumulated there. This makes sure the chances of getting gum disease is obliterated and prevent further progression of the disease if it has already set in. If gum diseases progress to more severe forms, it leads to loss of jaw bone and ultimately you risk losing all your teeth due to infection. It is because of this reason it is important to prevent them by maintaining good oral hygiene.

Flossing Helps Fight Dental Decay 

As mentioned earlier, the accumulated plaque and calculus is a breeding source of bacteria. Some of these bacteria are the causative agents for dental decay. The bacteria living here release acidic substances when they metabolize sugars that come from the food we eat. These acidic by-products lead to the dissolution of the tooth structure. Our goal is to keep our mouths clean to make sure these bacteria get no source of nutrition to form these substances, thus preventing the formation of dental cavities.

dental decay

Flossing Massages The Gums

Flossing massages and stimulates the gums, this, in turn, increase the blood flow to the gums. There is also an increase in the gingival crevicular fluid flow which is produced by the gingiva. This plays a major role in maintaining good oral immunity and increase the ability of the body to fight off any offending substance present in the oral cavity.

Helps Polish Teeth Surfaces

Flossing removes plaque from the tooth surface to expose beautiful, clean, and sparkly teeth. Having good oral hygiene and a bright healthy smile contributes immensely to the overall confidence of an individual.

Maintains Overall Health

The oral cavity is known to mirror the overall health of an individual and rightly so. A plethora of diseases either start in the oral cavity or can be detected earlier because of the changes it causes in the oral cavity. Therefore, it is of prime importance we maintain good oral hygiene, this helps prevent oral diseases and most importantly also a lot of systemic diseases.

Flossing regularly gives you a chance to look at your oral cavity, this gives you the advantage to spot any abnormalities early, this means you can get ahead of the disease and prevent it from progressing into severe forms. Flossing helps you become more aware of your oral health, thus you can be in charge of what happens and visit a dental professional if something doesn’t look right.

We all understand the need for good oral hygiene, but we also understand that the idea of flossing isn’t a very pleasant one and laziness can get the best of us sometimes. However, spending a few extra minutes near the sink can help you prevent a lot of bank-breaking complications in the future. Many dentists recommend flossing at least once a day, in the evening after you have had your meals. Teeth once lost, don’t grow back which is why we should take utmost care of our pearly whites to smile with confidence as often as possible!

— By Dr. Jigisha Graduated Bachelors in Dental Surgery from the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, India, she is a dental surgeon from the central Indian city of Nagpur.

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