Why Your Whole Body Will Thank You for Flossing

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“I don’t have any time to floss!” This is a regular answer I get as a dental professional from patients. Many of them are really surprised by my simple way of explaining what happens in that tiny space between your teeth and gums called “the dental pocket” if you don’t floss.

The dental pocket is as it sounds, a pocket. As we all know pockets keep things safe…but the components of this pocket we do not want to keep at all! Bacteria or microorganisms are normal residents of the mouth. The idea is to keep a good balance of bacteria, since some are necessary and important for our digestion but not all of them are friendly residents of the oral cavity – these we can call bad bacteria and they hide in the dental pocket.

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These bad bacteria don’t like oxygen, because oxygen kills them. Instead, they love dark and moist spaces so they find the perfect spot ( the dental pocket) to live under the gums. Now that they have a home, these bacteria need to eat and so we  provide their food in the form of dental plaque. As they eat, the bacteria create acid. If there are too many bacteria, then there is more acid and this leads to bone deterioration which starts with bleeding gums called gingivitis. When the gingiva or gums are puffy and inflamed, they lose the property of protecting the bone underneath them… if the bone is damaged this is now a bigger problem called periodontal disease.

Blog By Dentists on Bloor

This may be surprising but if left untreated, gum disease can be a risk factor for tooth mobility and ultimately tooth-loss, heart disease, and diabetes. As well bacteria can cause bad breath and having food or debris between your teeth can make them look less clean or white. So, flossing can not only help improve the appearance of your mouth but it is an important part of your dental hygiene and overall health.

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It’s more important to take your time and floss correctly than it is to floss often. If you floss several times a day, but do it quickly, you’ll miss a lot of the bacteria and debris you need to clean out. This defeats the purpose of flossing. It’s far better to floss only once a day and do it slowly so that you clean your entire mouth.

Thanks to Lida our hygienist who helps make it clear why we should FLOSS LIKE A BOSS!

Blog By Dentists on Bloor

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