Ever wonder if flossing is actually making a difference? You know your dentist tells you it's important, but does it really help even though you can't see the difference?
Do your gums bleed when you floss? This is a sign that you need to floss more! Healthy gums don’t have enough of a blood supply to bleed, no matter how hard you brush or floss. Unhealthy gums have too much blood in them, causing them to bleed easily. Your body sends more blood to the gums to fight off bacteria and infection.
Flossing does about 40% of the work required to remove sticky bacteria, or plaque, from your teeth. Plaque generates acid, causing cavities, gum irritation, and eventually can lead to gum disease.
Flossing is the only way to get into the crevice between the teeth to remove bacteria. Each tooth has five surfaces; if you don’t floss, you leave two of those surfaces unclean.
The bacteria between your teeth can cause way more damage than the plaque and bacteria on the front and back of your teeth. Your saliva, tongue, and some of the foods you eat actually remove most of the plaque on the front and back surfaces of your teeth, but only flossing removes bacteria and plaque from between your teeth.
Gingivitis results from neglected flossing; if you are pregnant, bacteria from gingivitis can cause low birth weight babies and more complications during pregnancy.