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Posts for tag: flossing

By David Cooley, DDS
July 19, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: flossing   gum disease  

It's easy to see why so many of us believe that we can get away with skipping flossing in our daily oral hygiene routine. In our culture of flossinginstant gratification and jam-packed, highly optimized schedules, it can seem practical to dismiss something that takes up time without offering up a visible benefit in the moment. If you don't brush your teeth, your breath smells and your teeth feel gritty, so daily brushing is a no brainer because we can see (and feel) the results right away.

Flossing, on the other hand, is more of a preventive activity, with no immediately visible rewards. Sure, no one wantsto get gum disease, but what are the odds that it'll really happen? Or so the thinking might go. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of all American adults over the age of 30, or one in two, will develop some form of periodontal disease in their lifetime. So while flossing might seem like something that just needs to be done right before a visit to the dentist to throw him off the trail, skipping it has real consequences that can impact both our oral and general health.

Gum Disease Prevention and Treatment in Kalamazoo, MI

So why is daily flossing necessary, as opposed to once a week or month? And how does the dentist always seem to know when we're skipping it? Dr. David Cooley, a dentist in Kalamazoo, MI, recommends thinking about flossing and oral health in terms of a 24-hour cycle. Like our stomachs, the mouth contains both good and bad bacteria that interact with the food and drinks that we consume on a daily basis. When we don't floss, bacteria begins to accumulate between the teeth and gums, eventually solidifying into a tough layer of tartar and plaque, which leads to gum inflammation and increases the risk of everything from tooth decay to full-blown gum disease.

Once plaque develops it can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning, so like brushing, flossing needs to happen every day in order to be effective. But the time of day doesn't matter as long as you floss at least once every 24 hours, so if morning or lunch time flossing is easier to stick with than in the evening, your teeth will still thank you later.

Find a Dentist in Kalamazoo, MI

You don't have to wait until you develop symptoms to visit a dentist. No matter where you are in your oral health journey, a dental exam and professional cleaning can help you get back on track. For more information, contact Dr. David Cooley by calling 269-345-1021 to schedule an appointment today.