Flossing Is Just as Important as Brushing: Here's What Happens When You Skip It

Flossing Is Just as Important as Brushing: Here's What Happens When You Skip It

Tooth decay and gum disease are common in the United States, and a lack of flossing is a reason why. In fact, research shows that while 41% of Americans floss daily, 20% never do. 

If flossing feels like a hassle or a habit you just haven’t been able to cultivate, our dental team at Swinney Dental in Tyler, Texas, can provide guidance and encouragement to get you on the right track.

Let’s delve into flossing, including benefits, tips, and what happens if you skip it.

Benefits of flossing

Flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth. While brushing eliminates harmful buildup on the surfaces of your teeth, flossing removes plaque between them.

Other essential benefits of daily flossing include:

Daily flossing also is a reminder to take care of your overall health. When health-promoting self-care measures become habitual in one life area, you may find it easier to prioritize healthy practices of other kinds.

Risks of not flossing

Here’s what happens when you don’t floss. It increases your risks for:

Furthermore, you are at an increased risk for heart problems if you skip flossing.

Flossing tips for healthier teeth and gums

In addition to brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, experts recommend flossing once daily. 

Using a long strand — about 18 inches — of floss works best. Wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving 1-2 inches to apply to your teeth and gums.

Move the string along the sides of each tooth, creating a subtle C-shape as you glide it just under the gum line. While keeping the floss close to your teeth and gums is essential, avoid force that could damage your gum tissue.

If you have difficulty using regular floss, consider flossing picks or a water flosser — a device that aims a stream of water to clean between your teeth and gums. Regardless of your chosen method, take your time and don’t rush. To make the process more enjoyable, listen to music or an audiobook.

To learn more about flossing or get the dental support or care you need, call our team at Swinney Dental today. You can also schedule an appointment using the convenient online booking feature on our website.

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