Dr. Beatrice Leung Dentistry Professional Corporation

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Why You Should Care About Flossing

Woman and Daughter flossingThere is a common misconception that if you brush your teeth regularly, you can skip out on the floss and still maintain good oral hygiene. The truth is, brushing is simply not enough. It’s not just about getting that unsightly piece of broccoli out from between your teeth; floss is an integral part of maintaining good health and a beautiful smile. Here are just some of the reasons why you should incorporate flossing into your daily routine:

Brushing is not enough

If you aren’t already, you should be brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing and flossing can help combat the development of plaque, a soft, sticky substance that naturally develops in our mouths from food and bacteria. When an accumulation of plaque goes undisturbed for a period of time it hardens and becomes tartar. Tartar buildups are usually yellow or brown in colour and can only be removed by a dentist through a dental exam. Brushing alone only covers the outer surface area of the tooth and leaves the areas closest to the gum line and space between teeth vulnerable.

Eliminate bad breath

If bad breath is a concern of yours, don’t skip out on the floss. Bad breath, commonly referred to as halitosis, and can be caused by bacteria and food left in between teeth. Not only is bad breath embarrassing in social settings, but it may also be a sign of poor health and hygiene. There are tons of great products on the market today, like floss picks, that can aid in the flossing process and help relieve bad breath.

Keep your teeth whiter

Keep your smile brighter and healthier looking with floss by reducing plaque buildup. Regular flossing can help remove and prevent stubborn stains by reducing the tartar and plaque buildup that stains may adhere to. Preventing the discolouration of tartar also helps maintains a white, youthful looking smile.

Prevent cavities

Even with diligent brushing, cavities may form in-between your teeth. Toothbrush bristles are just not capable of reaching into the tight spaces between teeth, creating an opportunity for tooth decay, sensitivity and cavities. The space between your teeth is the most common and least noticeable place for cavities to develop. Most people only discover they have these cavities during a dental exam.

Counteract gum recession

Insufficient flossing may contribute to the recession of your gums. Gum recession is when your gums begin to thin or pull back and more of the tooth and its roots are exposed. Not only is this an aesthetic issue for many people, it also leads to tooth sensitivity and an increased risk of cavities. Gum recession happens so gradually that it is often ignored, but it is one of the first signs of gingivitis and is important to be aware of.

Avoid gingivitis

Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease caused by poor oral hygiene.

Symptoms include: tender, soft or swollen gums; gums that easily bleed during brushing or flossing; gums
that appear red or inflamed and chronic bad breath. Gingivitis is a result of tarter buildup that if neglected, may later develop into periodontitis. Periodontitis can be quite dangerous as it spreads deep below the gum line, causes severe inflammation and results in the loss of teeth and bone.

Prevent other illnesses

The bacteria present in gingivitis and periodontitis have an impact on other serious, and even life threatening illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.

  • Diabetes: People living with diabetes should take extra care in maintaining good oral hygiene as complications may be aggravated by gum disease. Diabetes causes organs to sometimes heal more slowly, allowing for the acceleration of inflammation and subjecting you to developing complicated forms of gum disease.
  • Heart Disease: People suffering from heart disease must take diligent precaution in preventing gum disease, as the mouth is a common entry point of harmful bacteria reaching the cardiac tissues. Regular maintenance of good oral hygiene can reduce the presence of harmful bacteria and the risk of further complications.

Regular brushing and flossing is vital in maintaining good oral hygiene and overall health. Make it a small part of your daily routine and contact us at (416) 927-9085 to help keep your smile beautiful.