Flossing is crucial to maintaining your oral health and preventing costly problems or tooth loss in the future. We can tell you that you need to floss and judge you when you don't, or we can explain to you how flossing works, why it's important, and how you can fit it into your personal care routine.
Watch co-owner and creator of Citizen Dental Hygiene, Lace Shaw, discuss the importance of flossing in this video:
When we brush, we're only cleaning a part of the tooth. Much of the tooth and it's important supporting structure are beneath the gums. Floss is a great tool designed to get these hard to reach space and tight areas between teeth.
There is a huge variety of bacteria that live in our mouths - some good, and some bad. When the bad bacteria is left undisturbed to rest on our enamel, our saliva can calcify over top of it, which results in plaque and tartar. The bacteria is trapped here, and works to burrow into our enamel, cause a cavity (a hole).
Cavities are no doubt a problem. They can lead to sensitivity, pain, abscesses, a need for a root canal or extraction (tooth loss). Cavities aren't the only side affect of not flossing often enough. It can also affect your immune system, as well as lead to other health problems like cardiovascular disease and affect pregnancy and birth. Oral health affects your overall health! Your body will recognize the bacteria that is stuck along your gum line as an "infection", and be putting lots of effort into protecting you from this bacteria attack. Over time, this destroys the bone structure of your tooth. You may not notice this happening, because it's all hidden under the gums. You will notice it once it's happened... because your tooth won't be supported in your jaw anymore!
Practicing preventative oral care on top of getting regular cleanings from your dental hygienist is crucial for maintaining a healthy smile that will last you into your old age. Flossing is a great long-term game, that also benefits you in the short term with fresher breath and a brighter smile!
If you're having trouble remembering to floss at least a few times a week or finding the time to fit it into your routine, we recommend pairing it with another activity. Lace suggests having your floss in the shower beside your shampoo or conditioner, so you see it and remember to floss every time you go to wash you hair! Some people find it helpful to keep it out on their coffee table by their TV remote, so when they're sitting back to watch a show or movie, they remember to floss and can do it why lazing on the couch!
Learn more about why we should floss in the Floss Talk video above by Jody Boryski with co-owner and creator of Citizen Dental Hygiene, Lace Shaw.