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3150 North Elm Street, Suite 210
Greensboro, NC 27408

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September 25, 2021

Yes, Flossing is THAT important.

A survey conducted by the American Academy of Periodontology revealed that an estimated 27% of adults lie to their dentist about how often they floss their teeth. Many oral health professionals suspect this number to be too low and I would have to say that I agree. We know that many of our patients are most likely “stretching the truth” about their flossing habits, but trust us when we tell you that your gums are telling on you before you have time to confess.

It’s no secret that dentists are big fans of flossing and there’s a reason. Several, actually. So why are we so persistent about the importance of flossing?

Flossing is the act of cleaning between your teeth and is a critical part of your oral hygiene. The American Dental Association recommends flossing daily to prevent cavities and gum disease. Cleaning between your teeth helps remove plaque. This plaque holds bacteria from leftover foods that can cause cavities, gum disease, and potentially put you at risk for heart disease. Yes, heart disease.

Essentially the bacteria found in the plaque between your teeth can cause an inflammatory response that contributes to gum disease. According to Dr. Wayne Aldredge, Past President of the American Academy of Periodontology, "Gum disease is typically caused when prolonged exposure to bacteria in dental plaque causes an inflammatory reaction. Flossing is an effective and useful way to remove the plaque, especially in between the teeth or under the gum line-places where a toothbrush cannot reach."

Gum disease can play a part in the development of heart disease. Recent research and studies have linked these two diseases finding that gum disease increases a person’s risk of heart disease by approximately 20 percent. Both the American Dental Association and American Heart Association have acknowledged the relationship between gum disease and heart disease, noting gum disease may increase the risk of heart disease because inflammation in the gums and bacteria may eventually lead to narrowing of important arteries.

So when we encourage you to floss, know that it is about more than a pretty smile and fresh breath. It’s about avoiding problems like bleeding and receding gums and bone and tooth loss. It’s also about reducing your risks of cavities and consequential heart disease. 

Avoid the temptation to use random items to clean between your teeth. Use dental designed tools like string floss, water flossers, and tiny dental brushes that reach between teeth. Talk to your dentist about your daily routine and find a tool and time that works best for you to be consistent. Click here to watch a video from the ADA on How To Floss Your Teeth. 

So, no more fibbing about how often you floss your teeth. Let’s work together to make flossing part of your daily routine. Because, yes… it is THAT important.

Margaret Szott DDS, PA is a general and family dentist in Greensboro NC offering the highest standard of personalized dental care for her patients. Dr. Szott is currently accepting new patients and works with all insurance providers. We invite you to call Margaret Szott DDS at 336-286-9897 to schedule a consultation.  

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3150 North Elm Street
Suite 210
Greensboro, NC 27408
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