When you're rushing to get ready for work in the morning, it's easy to let good habits slide. One of those habits is flossing your teeth. Many adults remember to brush, but then rush out of the bathroom before engaging in brushing's equally important counterpart – flossing. To help motivate you to make flossing a more integral part of your daily routine, here's a look at three good reasons not to skip flossing.
Reason #1: Forgetting to floss can lead to tooth loss later in life.
Failing to floss contributes to gum disease, which may not seem so bad now when it just makes your gums a little sore and red, but will certainly be an issue later once it progresses. Older adults who have suffered from ongoing gum disease eventually end up losing their teeth and needing implants or dentures in order to chew. If you want to still have your natural smile when you're 60 or 70, start flossing daily, and don't stop.
Reason #2: Skipping flossing may cause bad breath.
You might assume that as long as you brush your teeth, your breath will stay reasonably fresh. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case. When you don't floss, plaque and bacteria remain between your teeth. They're every bit as stinky there as they are when on the surface of your teeth and your tongue. If you've been neglecting flossing for a while, you may not know you have bad breath because you've become accustomed to it. However, your coworkers and friends probably don't like getting too close to you. Start flossing now, and you might find they warm up to you a little more easily.
Reason #3: Cavities between the teeth are difficult and more expensive to fill.
When you don't brush your teeth, you increase the chance of cavities developing on the fronts, backs and chewing surfaces. When you don't floss, you're putting yourself at risk of developing cavities between the teeth. Known as "flossing cavities" for obvious reasons, these cavities are hard for your dentist to fill. He or she has to use a special metal device to push your teeth apart a little in order to fill cavities between them. This might make your jaw ache for a while, and in many cases, it's more costly than having a cavity on the outer surface of a tooth filled.
If you've been neglecting your flossing routine, today is the day to make a change. Set a reminder on your phone, post a sign on the mirror, or pack dental floss in your purse to floss after lunch. Do whatever it takes to remind you to floss daily. Your teeth depend on it. Contact a periodontist for more info.