What Happens If I Don’t Floss?
Flossing isn’t anybody’s favorite pastime. You probably mean to floss after brushing, but it can be hard to remember if it’s not already part of your daily routine. It’s also time-consuming, and all too often, people don’t feel like it’s worth the extra step. Some also hesitate to floss because it’s uncomfortable or because they aren’t sure how to go about doing it.
Failing to floss, however, can have several negative consequences for your dental hygiene. Bad breath is the most common, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Failing to floss increases the risk of developing gingivitis, gum disease, and advanced periodontal disease.
Starting a flossing routine is one of the best ways to improve your dental health. Thankfully, finding time to floss and do it correctly isn’t as hard as it seems. In this guide, we will cover why flossing is so important and how to do it properly to get the best results.
Why Should I Floss?
Flossing is a method for removing food debris and plaque from between the teeth. Dental floss can reach into areas that routine brushing can’t, so you can successfully remove the buildup that is left behind after regular brushing.
While it doesn’t hurt to floss after each meal to remove any food particles, flossing once a day is usually sufficient for improving your dental health. Leftover food and debris can harbor bacteria, which leads to bad breath and tooth decay. It can also cause gum disease. Flossing helps reduce these risks.
What Happens If I Don’t Floss?
If you don’t floss, bacteria will accumulate between the teeth and gums. This can lead to gingivitis, and eventually gum disease (also known as periodontitis). Gum disease not only causes immediate symptoms, such as swollen, tender, and bleeding gums, but it can also eventually lead to tooth sensitivity, loose teeth, and even loss of teeth.
Diseased gums can also eventually recede away from the teeth. This allows pockets to form between the teeth and gums where bacteria and infection can accumulate. When this happens, you may experience severe tooth sensitivity and pain, especially when eating. If not treated, this can cause severe infection.
Those who do not floss are also more likely to suffer from halitosis, or chronic bad breath. As food particles and bacteria accumulate between teeth, it begins to decay. This emits odors.
Poor dental health can eventually spill over to the rest of the body, leading to severe illness that can become life-threatening. Oral diseases such as periodontitis have also been linked to increased risk of other health complications, such as stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. Additionally, having excess bacteria in the mouth can lead to systemic illness, such as pneumonia. Proper brushing and flossing can help prevent these issues.
How Should I Floss?
Proper flossing doesn’t have to be a complicated procedure. Remove about a foot and a half of floss from the container and wind it around one finger. Wrap the other end around the same finger of the opposite hand. Then, slowly and gently glide the floss between two teeth. Rub it back and forth until you reach the gum line, and then form a “C” around the side of one tooth as you glide the floss back out. Repeat this procedure between all teeth.
If you notice bleeding or pain while flossing, you may be doing it too roughly. Never “snap” the floss between your teeth. If you have gum disease or are not used to flossing, then a small amount of bleeding may be expected until your gums adjust.
This should be done at least once a day, but ideally after each meal for best results.
How Can I Repair Issues Caused by Not Flossing?
Carrie Muzny D.D.S. offers the highest-quality dental services for our patients in The Woodlands and surrounding areas. Our highly acclaimed dentists are not only exceptionally trained in modern preventative techniques, but also have attained academic honors and continue to refine their craft year after year in preventative dentistry, restorative dentistry, surgical procedures, and cosmetic dentistry.
With our state-of-the-art technology and vast range of smile-perfecting procedures, we stay atop the field and deliver smiles as sunny as the state of Texas!
To let us help you get that perfect smile, contact us today.
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