Is Flossing a Dental Care Must?

Most people will readily admit that they don’t bother with flossing because they brush their teeth long enough. Some even say they use different toothbrushes for a more thorough oral hygiene routine. But is brushing really enough—and is flossing a dental care must?

According to dental experts, brushing is not enough and flossing is indeed a must because no amount of brushing can be as effective in getting rid of food debris in between teeth as flossing is. At times, brushing even reinforces the stuck food particles in the tight spaces between teeth and along the gum line. These food particles build up and turn into tartar, and then tartar turns into plaque, which may be the cause of cavities and periodontal diseases—oral issues that are actually more complicated to address, and at the same time, more expensive.

Another reason why flossing really should be done is that most flosses nowadays are designed to provide additional benefits such as applying fluoride to those tight spaces between teeth. Fluoride is a very important ingredient in preventing tooth decay because it can strengthen enamel against acids from your own saliva and the food you eat. If you love your smile, you simply can’t do without flossing.

It’s important to mention as well that if flossing is done right, gums can be better protected from gingivitis (or red puffy inflamed gums), which is often the point of origin of periodontitis or severe inflammation that leads to tooth and bone loss. However, some complain that flossing cuts their gums—another cause of inflammation or infection in the mouth. This problem can be addressed easily by learning the right way to floss or opting for air flosses that use jet streams of water to dislodge food particles.

Of course, tartar buildup or plaque renders brushing and rinsing with a mouthwash ineffective in freshening the mouth; no matter how much you brush and rinse with a fragrant mouthwash, you’re still likely to get bad breath (which is embarrassing) because of plaque. As already mentioned earlier, plaque can be prevented if you floss regularly.

Lastly, flossing is very important because numerous studies and research show that an unhealthy mouth due to incomplete oral care can lead to even more complex diseases. Endocrinologists say that plaque and cavities can irritate the throat much further and create discomfort for people who have suffered from enlarged thyroid. Furthermore, people with dental problems are at high risk of developing heart disease, and experiencing complications with diabetes and respiratory problems.

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