Anyone who’s been to a dentist has been asked the regular, sometimes laughable question: how often do you floss? Just about the same number of adults floss regularly as those who don’t floss at all, according to a review of data from 2009 to 2014 by the National Center of Health Statistics, which is part of the CDC. 31.9% never floss, while 31.6% floss daily. The percentage of those who floss anywhere from one to six days per week varies from 1.5% to 9%. Many people find flossing a pain, but that doesn’t erase its importance. Here’s why you need to do as your dentist recommends and floss every day.
Flossing is key because it cleans the nooks and crannies of your teeth that your toothbrush simply can’t get to. It gets rid of those pesky broccoli florets and popcorn kernels that get stuck between your teeth. Not flossing regularly increases your risk of developing various dental problems and diseases later in life, like gingivitis and cavities. These problems can easily turn into something more serious if not treated, or if poor dental hygiene habits continue. An untreated cavity can create an abscess in the tooth. Abscesses are usually treated by draining the infected tooth, but some require more serious treatment such as a root canal or even removal of the tooth entirely. These procedures can be very expensive, especially without insurance. Why put yourself through so much pain, time, and money just to save a few minutes each day by not flossing?
Unless you’re someone that enjoys having serious health problems, these should be enough reasons to convince you to start flossing daily. If you still want to take your chances on that end, remember that flossing is also an essential part of keeping your breath minty fresh. You may not get many kisses from your partner if you never floss, or you may put strangers off with your bad breath. Avoid embarrassing, costly, and dangerous situations by flossing daily.