A recent survey revealed that bad breath was the biggest turn-off on a first date. Someone can look nice, be sparkling clean, but if they open their mouth and the aroma of death creeps out, it’s pretty much an impression that you can’t overcome.
Have you ever been talking to someone and you try to breathe out whenever they do so that you can avoid breathing in that ungodly smell? Have you ever been forced to become a temporary mouth-breather to spare your nostrils the pain of being abused by someone else’s poor internal hygiene?
If you’ve never been through this, I’d like to congratulate you. But I also want you to do a double check and make sure that the offensive person I’m describing isn’t actually YOU.
Look, brushing everyday is great. We know that it’s important in preventing cavities, removing plaque, and lowering the risk of gum disease. But did you know that brushing is only reaching around 60% of the surface of all of your teeth? There’s still a lot more area to cover… and that’s where flossing comes in.
Not flossing is like not wiping. There, I said it. If you’re not cleaning the whole area after using it several times a day, then a whole lot of nastiness is just lingering around in your mouth.
The food particles embedded in your gum lining and in between your teeth can quickly accumulate bacterial activity. This can lead to plaque buildup and create smells that might have your date asking for the check way earlier than you expected.
Not only is the smell an issue and a killer for your social life, but not flossing can have some serious health consequences that you need to know about. Here’s 4 essential health benefits of flossing your teeth. Don’t floss at your own risk!
1. Teeth flossing reduces your risk of diabetes – Think these two are totally unrelated? Well, think again. Severe infection and inflammation in your gums (something know as periodontitis) can spread throughout your entire body, increasing insulin resistance and damaging blood vessels.
Insulin resistance is a huge component of diabetes, but it’s also a component of unsightly belly fat. The systemic inflammation caused by periodontitis and not flossing can literally increase your risk for diabetes and it’s related problems. Diabetes also reduces your ability to fight infection, so the problems in your mouth will only get worse. The solution?
Floss like a boss and avoid periodontitis.
2. Flossing reduces the risk of gum disease – This one is pretty obvious for most people… yet, only 10 percent of people actually floss regularly.
Gum disease (or gingivitis) is caused by uninterrupted plaque formation on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film mostly comprised of bacteria. This film develops radically faster by consuming high amounts of sugar and starches (which makes the bacteria in your mouth go bananas – no pun intended).
This film needs to be removed daily, and if allowed to sit on the teeth too long, this plaque begins to harden and become something called tartar that will likely require a dentist to remove it.
Bottom line, research shows conclusively that plaque formation is radically reduced by teeth flossing. Eliminate the root cause of the problem so that you can prevent gingivitis and keep your pearly whites in tact.
3. Flossing helps to eliminate bad breath – In a recent study of twins (ages 12 to 21) flossing was found to improve the breath and also reduce bleeding of the gums.
Each twin was placed into 1 of 2 groups. Group 1 was given a regimen of brushing their teeth and tongue only. Group 2 was given the same regimen but added daily flossing to the mix. The study published in the Journal of Periodontology showed that the flossing twin had better breath.
Did you know that bleeding gums is also a huge contributor to stink mouth? Well, the flossing twin had less gum bleeding too which also contributed to having less offensive breath. FINALLY a way to tell twins apart.
4. Teeth flossing lowers risk of heart disease – According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have coronary artery disease (also called heart disease). Although it’s not yet fully understood, the inflammation created by periodontitis appears to be a player in damaging arteries.
This is huge news for a lot of people because we tend to think of our body in sections, instead of understanding that everything is literally connected. Every cell in your body is influencing the function of every other cell.
Inflammation in your mouth and gums can be a major contributor to damaged arteries by raising your body’s inflammatory biomarkers. The same bacteria associated with advanced gum disease has also been found in diseased human heart tissue. Pretty crazy, right?
Well, if this doesn’t give you reason enough to floss, then you must be one heck of a risk taker. Just 2 minutes a day…. Just 2 minutes a day!! That’s all you need to reduce the risk of chronic disease AND help you to be more appealing the next time you’re in close contact.
Remember to floss on a regular basis, learn how to do it correctly, and you’ll be enjoying a more healthy body and social life.
I want to hear from you now. Is any of this news interesting or surprising to you? Do you already floss regularly or do you plan to now? Let me know in the comments section below!
Share Your Voice
One thing I do is brush my gums with a toothbrush and toothpaste. It doesn’t help with pain but it makes the swelling go down after a few times.
The given information is really very helpful. Thanks a lot for providing such a useful information. thanks for posting.
Even better if you use a floss made with charcoal and coconut oil. They make your teeth seriously clean.
I am a flosser, but I am very surprised to learn that flossers comprise only 10% of the population. Yuck!
On a side note, my dentist says it is best to floss at night so that the food doesn’t have time for bacterial growth overnight.
I hope more people will pick up this valuable habit!
Andrea, I’m sooooo with you lol. I only floss at night myself for the same reason!
If you do develop inflammation in the gums what do you recommend to combat the inflammation?
I went to the dentist yesterday and they gave me free floss and teeth brushes that you use between teeth. Even people with spaces in their teeth like I have need to floss.
Hi Shawn, thank you for sharing this – it is long overdue! Here in NZ, oral health (especially child oral health) is our biggest health burden, followed by obesity and obesity-related health issues. Having studied biomedicine and pathology, I can clearly see the link between the two but a huge majority of people (including our politicians) completely overlook the importance of oral health. Thanks for spreading the word!
Loved the catch phrase. I am going to print this out and put it in the dental office. I think it will be a positive encouragement to our patients.
I thought is would get the point across 😉
Hi Shawn, again valuable information thank you. I must admit even though I brush twice/three times a day and gargle with mouth wash, I do forget about flossing, even though that was always part of my daily routine shame on me. So thanks for the reminder as I will get back to this very valuable practice for my healths sake x
Hi Shawn I really was glad u brung that topic up cause that is a very sensitive subject but it serious cause it can effect your health me and my kids go to dentist every 6 months Itake oral hygiene very seriou s I think people need to visit they dentist more often
Rosalind, you’re so right. It IS a serious issue, and I definitely want to put more attention on it and get the conversation going. This is not the last time you’ll hear from me on this for sure. Thanks for sharing!
Aw, Carol, thanks for that. And thanks for already being ahead of the game!