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Do I Need to Floss?

It is a common belief that if you brush your teeth well enough, you don’t need to floss. However, this is not the case. Brushing is not enough to keep your teeth and gums healthy, which is why you need to floss. Skipping the floss in your oral care routine can be bad for your health. Therefore, it is important to know why you need it. 

Side view of woman smiling while flossing oral hygiene dentist in Doylestown Pennsylvania

Remove Plaque

The main reason you need to floss is because plaque builds between your teeth and under your gums. Plaque is a sticky, white substance that clings to the surface of your teeth. It is a form of bacteria that can break down the enamel on your teeth. Unfortunately, enamel is vital in order to protect the nerves and blood vessels inside your teeth. The internal portions of your teeth keep it alive. Therefore, keeping the enamel healthy is incredibly important. 

Plaque will react with sugar and leftover food particles to form an acid. This acid will destroy the enamel and cause tooth decay. 

Flossing helps remove plaque in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. Even if you brush for two minutes, you won’t be able to get between your teeth. 

Remove Food

When you eat, you break down food into smaller pieces, making it easier to swallow. This creates food particles that can get between your teeth. Even if you brush thoroughly, your toothbrush cannot reach between your teeth. This is why flossing is essential to your oral health routine. Flossing can remove the leftover food particles, which can create cavities or bad breath. 

If you leave food between your teeth, the food can begin to decay. Unfortunately, this can create a foul smell. This is one of the many causes of bad breath. In addition, leaving food between your teeth can increase your chances of developing cavities. Cavities are small pits in your teeth that form in the enamel. As they advance, cavities can destroy your teeth, causing pain and infection

Additionally, flossing can reduce your risk of gum disease. Gum disease is an infection of the gums caused by plaque. 

Heart and Body Health

While flossing is great for your oral health, studies suggest that it is also good for your heart. According to research, the plaque that builds on your teeth is the same type of plaque that can build in your arteries. There are studies that show a correlation between heart health and oral health. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy minimizes your risks of developing heart problems. 

Additionally, you should look at your mouth as a gateway to your body. Anything that you ingest in your mouth can travel to other parts of your body. This includes plaque and bacteria. If you have a buildup of plaque and bacteria, you can ingest or inhale it. For example, having poor dental health is related to bacterial infection in the blood. 

Finally, studies show that there is a connection between gum disease and other chronic health conditions, such as diabetes.