How Often Should You Floss?

Benjamin Cory Harow knows that caring for the teeth and gums is essential in maintaining healthy oral hygiene. However, many people seem to focus more on the teeth and often ignore the gums, which can be detrimental to oral hygiene and overall health and wellness.

The gums are the soft tissue that encircles the teeth, including the roots and jawbones. One’s gums act as a seal and protective layer against harmful bacteria and help keep the teeth in place.

This critical fact underscores the value of ensuring that they remain in mint condition to avoid introducing bacteria that can lead to periodontitis development- a severe gum infection that damages soft tissues. This infection can cause other extreme health conditions to occur. Healthy gums are usually a light shade of pink, do not bleed easily, and are firm and snug around the teeth, forming a tight seal that minimizes the space where plague can develop. Symptoms of periodontitis include swollen gums, bad breath, loose teeth, and gums that go away from the teeth (recede), making them appear longer than average, new spaces developing between them, and a change in the way the teeth fit together when biting.

Flossing has proven to be useful in the maintenance of healthy gums and the prevention of periodontitis. Well-known physician Dr. Benjamin Cory Harow agrees that it is improbable that gums will remain healthy if flossing regularly is not incorporated into one’s daily oral hygiene routine. He believes that flossing as often as one brushes, which is usually twice per day, effectively cleans between the teeth and the area where the teeth meet the gums. When one does not remove the plague from these regions, deposits will build up, eventually harden, and develop a substance called tartar or calculus, leading to gum disease.

According to Dr. Harow, there is an association between gum disease and the development of several other severe health conditions, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease. He outlines that untreated gum disease can also affect the immune system. It does this by triggering it to become hyperactive, which may cause the body to always be in defense mode, potentially putting persons at risk of developing autoimmune disorders. The body attacks healthy and unhealthy cells. Periodontitis may have adverse effects on the body for persons living with these medical conditions due to the bacteria it introduces in the system.

Gum disease wreaks havoc on the body. It may be astonishing that persons can significantly reduce the risk of developing this condition by merely flossing daily; however, Dr. Harow warns that one should never underestimate its value in preventing certain health conditions. When one practices good oral hygiene, the rest of the body is healthier. Flossing does not require much time, and one can do it almost anywhere. It is, therefore, a low-cost and relatively easy way to optimize the health of the mouth and the body in general. It would be very wise to invest in some dental floss!