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Flossing: What’s the Big Deal?

Published on January 20th, 2017

dental-842314_1920Okay, let’s be honest. How many of us are actually flossing? Well according to the ADA, only half of Americans are flossing daily, and nearly 20% of Americans aren’t flossing at all! And even these statistics might be skewed. People aren’t comfortable telling the truth about flossing. According to another study, 27% of people admitted to lying to their dentist about how often they floss their teeth—and those are just the ones who admitted it! It seems that an overwhelming number of people aren’t flossing enough, or even flossing at all. So what’s the big deal? These people are still brushing—that should be good enough, right? Wrong. The impact that not flossing is having on your life is MUCH greater than you may think.

Flossing is important because it reaches & cleans parts of your teeth that brushing alone cannot. In fact, when you fail to floss, you are leaving 1/3 or your tooth’s surface unattended. You are also failing to reach the space below the gum line.

OK, so why does this matter? It matters because when we fail to clean these parts of our teeth, plaque begins to accumulate which is a predecessor for tooth decay and gum disease. Not only will this cause you a lot of pain, it will cause you a LOT of money and time spent on dental procedures. What’s worse is that gum disease leaves you susceptible to blood borne infections which can cause inflammatory diseases that move to other parts of the body. Gum disease is also linked to heart disease. That means by just spending a few more minutes in the bathroom every day, you could be saving yourself the time, money, and pain of dealing with a whole lot of problems down the line. Nearly half of us (the half that don’t floss regularly) develop some form of periodontal disease (another name for gum disease) in our lifetimes, which can lead to something much, much worse.

So why don’t more people floss? The short answer—it’s more work for people & people don’t understand the risk they’re taking. When surveyed by the American Academy of Periodontology, 9% of respondents said they would rather do their taxes than floss, 14% said they’d rather clean their toilet, and 18% said they’d rather wash the dishes. We want all you floss-haters out there to know that it’s not so bad! It’s definitely easier than your 10-40EZ and much more pleasant than scrubbing your toilet bowl. It only takes a couple extra minutes out of your day, and once you make it a part of your routine, you won’t even think about it anymore! Trust us. You’ll be saving yourself a world of pain, money, and time later on down the line if you start flossing now!

To learn the proper technique for flossing, check out this quick video!

Sources:

NPR

Perio.org

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