Did You Know That It’s Risky To Not Floss?
It’s sad but true. Men are far more likely than women to neglect their oral health – in some cases, for years? Lots of men don’t brush their teeth on a regular basis and avoid dental visits for cleanings and exams. Some of the healthiest and fittest guys are guilty. Flossing is even more challenging for some of these guys.
What are the risks of not flossing?
Flossing is an effective way to remove plaque because it works in the areas between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. If you don’t floss your teeth, you can experience a buildup of plaque which is a major factor in causing tooth decay (cavities), inflamed gums (gingivitis), periodontal disease, and eventually tooth loss.
Why does it matter?
Your oral health is more important than you might realize! The fact is that the health of your mouth, teeth, and gums can affect the rest of your body. Your oral health can offer clues about your overall health. In some cases, problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body.
For example…periodontitis (gum disease). The human body is home to a huge population of bacteria. Your mouth is no exception. Without proper oral hygiene (brushing and flossing), bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis. Though it seems minor at the start, it can significantly affect your health. If you don’t take care of your teeth and gums, your poor oral hygiene can actually lead to other, sometimes severe, health problems such as cardiovascular disease, digestive problems and tooth pain. Men are more likely than women to develop periodontitis, the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. More than half of men over the age of 55 are affected.
What should men do?
No time for the dentist? Practicing good oral hygiene is an investment in your overall health. No one wants to suffer the pain and discomfort related to tooth decay and gum disease or the embarrassment of an unattractive smile. One of the distinguishable characteristics of poor oral hygiene is bad breath. What man wants to be known for his HALITOSIS? Believe it or not, most of these problems can be prevented. Start at home and follow these good oral hygiene rules:
- Brush for two to three minutes, at least twice a day, with fluoridated toothpaste.
- Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. It will keep your teeth and smile looking young as you age, and prevent expensive dental bills and pain.
- Eat a healthy diet to provide the nutrients necessary (vitamins A and C, in particular) to prevent gum disease.
Schedule regular dental checkups. It’s the surest way to detect early signs of periodontal disease and other issues. Follow the treatment plan recommended. It will be time well invested.
Remember, beautiful teeth are healthy teeth!
Dr. Nishan Halim
Nishan Halim, DMD specializes in adult and pediatric restorative and cosmetic dentistry, as well as preventive dentistry, which is at the heart of this Capitol Hill, Washington DC neighborhood dental center. Schedule your appointment soon.