Taking care of your teeth is one of the most important habits you can develop over your lifetime. Not only are your teeth vital to eating food, but they shape self-esteem through your smile. You’ve probably had your dentist urge you to floss. But what are the benefits of flossing daily? In your mouth, with its tiny gaps, hidden in the dark recesses of your mouth, food can build up over time and create a painful and expensive set of problems. It can even cost you teeth. Let’s dig deeper into the benefits of flossing.
What is Tooth Decay?
Decay is the single biggest enemy of healthy teeth. But it doesn’t just happen. It’s the result of a chain reaction of events that start with the foods you eat and the beverages you drink. First, a little bit about the anatomy of teeth: they start wrapped in enamel, which provides a robust layer of protection. Tooth decay follows when the enamel wears away. It’s a progressive situation — enamel erosion may start small but slowly begins to spread. When the enamel disappears, your teeth are exposed to the elements.
Decay turns into a series of progressively more challenging dental issues, such as cavities or other infections. Decay may eventually require advanced dental care such as root canals or implants. One of the ways of keeping decay at bay is by aggressively embracing the benefits of flossing daily.
How do you know if you’re experiencing tooth decay? That’s the tricky thing. Once you’re aware of it, it may already be too late to do much to stop it. Decay has already done its damage. Some of the symptoms that decay might have advanced too far include:
- White or brown stains on your teeth
- Extreme sensitivity to cold or warm beverages, or sweets
- Development of cavities
- Development of an infection, such as an abscess
There are steps you can take to avoid these difficulties starting with great brushing and flossing. You can also adjust your diet to limit sugar, sweet, or other starchy foods. Flossing is another habit to adopt, as long as you fully understand the benefits of flossing daily.
Benefits of Flossing Daily
Flossing daily is the foundation of good dental hygiene. The main benefit is the ability to clear tiny food particles from very hard to reach places in your teeth — places your brush cannot reach. As the toothbrush maker Oral-B describes it, think of flossing like when you vacuum a carpet. “You may not see the dust and dirt, but once you vacuum and the dust and dirt are removed, the carpet looks brighter.”
In clearing out the unwanted food particles, you are doing great things for your dental health. The benefits of flossing daily include removing or reducing the risk of plaque buildup. Plaque can create tartar, which also eats into the enamel. In doing so, you slow down the process of tooth decay.
But researchers also now believe that the benefits of flossing daily may have other less direct pluses. There is evidence that links dental disease, for instance, with heart disease.
Keeping it Clean
Life moves at such a pace these days. Sometimes it feels like a burden to have to build in time for flossing. We get it. But the benefits of flossing daily are numerous and can help your bank account too. The more you keep your teeth in shape, the less risk you face of having to see the dentist. But when you need to, Lovett Splendid Atascocita has the team to help. Our years of experience in dentistry will help keep your teeth in top shape, and address problems you face. We support your family’s complete dental needs, whether through professional teeth cleaning, fillings and sealants, dental crowns and bridges, or specialized services such as dental implants. Contact us at 832.430.7652 when you need us.