How Flossing Improves Quality of Life
We all hear that we should floss on a regular basis. But for most of us, it feels like the cost-benefit analysis is a bit off. The cost is “a couple of minutes of my time every day,” and the benefit seems to be “some distant risk of dental problems gets a little further away.” When the benefit is so far away, who can afford a whopping 120 seconds that they could spend snuggling into bed or surfing Facebook?
The Real Benefits of Flossing
- If you are not flossing, you are not receiving the full effects of your brushing your teeth. The plaque between your teeth acts as a barrier that keeps the fluoride in your toothpaste from getting to the enamel and doing its job of protecting and strengthening. Your toothbrush cannot get that between-the-teeth plaque; that is exactly why floss was invented.
- Of course, almost everyone keeps floss around because it is the only effective way to get food particles out from between your teeth. We want to do that because if we don’t, the gums near those food particles become inflamed and sensitive. What we fail to realize is that there are always food particles stuck between your teeth; particularly near the gum line. Just because you cannot see the particles does not mean you do not need to floss them away.
- If you go without flossing for long enough, that annoying plaque that we mentioned will transmute into a much nastier, harder, and all-but-impossible to remove substance; tartar. Once it reaches this stage, it is essentially like concrete on your teeth; no amount of brushing or even flossing will get rid of it. At that point, you need a dentist with professional tools. It is far better to avoid that scenario ahead of time by flossing the plaque away before it can harden.
Here are a couple ways flossing directly impacts your quality of life:
- Flossing Helps Prevent Major Diseases: Heart failure, diabetes, osteoporosis, stroke, pneumonia, and even cancer; all of them have been shown to affect people with periodontal disease significantly more often (up to 63% more often) than people without. The mouth is one of the body’s most vulnerable areas, and factors ranging from infection to inflammation and beyond can start in the mouth and lead to significant weaknesses elsewhere.
- Flossing Saves You Money: The most obvious way flossing can help your bottom line is by potentially saving you hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars in dental bills. Medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcy in America, and flossing can go a long way to keep those bills at bay.
In short, when you are tempted to forego the two minutes needed to floss your teeth at least once a day, think about the cost of not doing it. Not only the short-term effects of food particle, plaque and tartar buildup in your teeth, but the potentially disastrous health and financial consequences long term.