One question that dentists hate to hear is, “Do I really have to floss?” The answer is always a resounding “Yes!” Many people dread adding a few extra minutes to their oral hygiene routine, yet if they knew all the benefits they receive from daily flossing they wouldn’t complain so much.

The habit of flossing has existed for many years, starting back in 1815 when a New Orleans dentist gave his patients strands of silk thread to use to clean between their teeth. The concept quickly became popular and by 1882 factories were producing unwaxed silk dental floss for the public. Overtime, dental floss has continued to evolve and today there are a variety of flossing material that make flossing more accessible to everyone.

Sadly, today most people have lost interest in flossing and lack the motivation to maintain this vital dental health habit. However, any dentist will tell you that you are doing your teeth a tremendous favor each time you floss. Here’s four reasons you need to add flossing to your daily routine.

1.) It’s Good For Your Heart

Your mouth is an entry way for a lot of bacteria, and not all of it is good. By flossing everyday you are keeping harmful bacteria in your mouth from traveling down into your cardiac tissue. If left unattended to, bacteria in your mouth can also enter your bloodstream and lead to the hardening of arteries which in time can cause strokes and even heart attacks. By flossing twice a day, you are actively keeping dangerous bacteria that can cause ineffective endocarditis away from your heart. With this information, it’s easy to see why it is especially important for heart disease patients to incorporate floss into their everyday routine.

2.) You Teeth Will Shine Whiter and Brighter

If you love having a cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of wine in the evening, you know how hard it can be to remove those stains from your teeth. No matter how fancy your electric toothbrush is or how carefully you brush your teeth, a toothbrush simply can’t reach the small, narrow areas between your teeth like floss can. If you don’t floss regularly, stains can grow between your teeth and spread to an even wider surface range.

Flossing also adds extra shine to your teeth by removing plaque. Made from masses of harmful germs, plaque is notorious for sticking to teeth which can lead to cavities later down the road. When you floss, the dental thread dislodges plaque clinging to your gums and the side of your teeth. Plaque is difficult to see with the naked eye, but if you’d like to see how much plaque is affecting your teeth you can do so by using over-the-counter “disclosing tablets”. These tablets will temporarily stain any plaque in your mouth a bright, noticeable color. You can use these tablets to figure out exactly where you need to spend more time flossing in the morning.

3.) Your Breath Will Smell Fresher

Do you currently suffer from bad breath? The cause may be from lack of flossing. Every time you eat, tiny pieces of food get lodged between your teeth. If not removed, these pieces of food will start to rot giving your breath an unpleasant smell. Thankfully, floss is designed to easily navigate between each of your teeth and remove any hidden food. Flossing, especially when combined with daily brushing and tongue scraping, will give you a fresh breath and a clean smile you can’t wait to show off.

4.) You’ll Save More Money

Would you be more willing to floss if someone paid you each time you did? While the tooth fairy won’t be handing you cash each time you clean between your teeth, your bank account will thank you. That’s because every time you floss you are reducing the amount of plaque, discoloration, and cavities that otherwise your dentist would have to remove. Keep the money you would otherwise have to spend on whitening procedures or fillings for yourself when you take a few extra minutes each day to floss. If you make flossing a lifelong habit, your teeth have a greater chance of staying healthy, making it possible for you to keep your original teeth your whole life instead of having to pay for artificial replacements.

Want to know more about how flossing can give you a healthier, happier smile? Your local dentist will be happy to share more information about the benefits of flossing and other healthy dental habits with you at your next dentist appointment. Furthermore, if you’re in the Montclair area and are in need of a friendly, affordable dentist, Cosmetic Micro Dentistry is here to help. From hygiene tips to fillings, we can take care of all of your dental needs. And yes, we will ask if you’ve flossed.