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5 Facts About Flossing

You must be aware that "Black Friday" is just around the corner. Did you also know that the day after Thanksgiving, the day that most of us eat more than we do on any other day of the year, is also National Flossing Day?

Sponsored by the National Flossing Council, "National Flossing Day puts the focus on how important it is to care for your teeth." Since dental disease can lead to other health problems, including heart disease, placing an emphasis on flossing at least once a year is the minimum we can ask for here at the Dental Health Blog.

To floss, or not to floss – that is the question. And, the answer is "Yes!"

  • Flossing removes old food and plaque (sticky film) between our teeth that the toothbrush just can’t reach.
  • If you don’t floss, you’re more likely to have plaque build-up, which can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease.
  • Flossing may help you live longer. Researchers have found that gum disease is related to a higher risk of coronary heart disease. This may have to do with the bacteria in the mouth getting into the blood stream and affecting the arteries. Flossing helps reduce your risk of gum disease, therefore also decreasing your risk of heart disease!
  • Flossing has been around for a while. Although there is actually evidence that prehistoric humans may have used floss and toothpicks, it didn’t become popular until the early 1800s when a New Orleans dentist began advising patients to floss daily with a silk thread.
  • Brushing can’t do the job all by itself. There’s no way to effectively clean the spaces in between your teeth by just using a toothbrush. The space between your teeth accounts for about 40% of your teeth’s surface area, so without flossing you’re only cleaning 60% of your teeth. And that’s the 100% truth!

The day after Thanksgiving is a great time to stress the importance of flossing to your family. Stress that being healthy is just one more thing for which to be thankful, and that, good oral health is equally important as healthy eating and exercise is to leading the good life.

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