Do You Really Need to Floss Your Teeth?

Does anyone really enjoy flossing?  There are few people who even floss their teeth on a regular basis, but there are a few reasons you should floss every day and not just once in a while.

First, let’s look at some reasons why some people don’t floss at all.

  • It hurts.  If you don’t floss very often you will experience some pain every time you do it.  This pain can last for an entire day sometimes.  But this is only the case when you don’t already floss on a daily basis.
  • You can bleed.  If your gums are not used to flossing you will also experience some bleeding.  If you continue to bleed after flossing for a solid period of time you should see your dentist.  It is not a good thing for your gums to bleed when you floss and it is not something you should just ignore.  Just like your hand shouldn’t bleed if you ran some string over it, neither should your gums be bleeding either.
  • Your gums can get swollen.  This swelling is also mainly due to the fact that you have not flossed enough, but it can also mean something more serious like gums disease or gingivitis.  The swelling can be painful and irritating as well, so you should see your dentist right away if this condition persists.
  • The string is always breaking.  This usually happens when your teeth don’t have a large enough gap between them.  It can be frustrating because the string itself can get caught in between the teeth and it’s hard to get out.  The solution is to use either a thinner floss like satin tape floss or you can talk to your dentist about it.

So do you really need to floss?  The answer is an emphatic yes, as a lack of flossing will lead to decay, gum disease, and an early loss of your natural teeth.  No matter how often or how well you brush your teeth there is always some food and deposits that get stuck between your teeth.

If you do not get these food particles out they will just eat away at your enamel and eventually cause decay and a cavity.  And since the decay is hidden from view it can stay like that for months or years if you are not seeing a dentist on a regular basis.

One of the best things you can do for your gums is to floss.  It might hurt at first, but the pain goes away completely after you have flossed for a couple weeks on a daily basis.  If pain still persists you should schedule an appointment at your local dentist office and talk to your dental professional.

Flossing gets all of that food out from between your teeth that a toothbrush simply cannot get.  There are a lot of water flossing devices on the market now, but nothing beats a simple piece of floss to get the job done.  It’s cheap and effective.  Just make sure you rub the floss against both sides of your teeth when you are going in the gaps to ensure a proper cleaning.

John writes dental health articles on many topics and also for a Shelby NC dentist.  As always, you should talk to your local dentist if you have any dental health concerns.