“I don’t need to floss my teeth — my trusty mouthwash will pick up where I left off!”
Famous last words!!!
It’s Flossuary (as we like to call February at DrTung’s), and this week, we’re sharing a cautionary tale of what happens if you don’t floss your teeth. You might think that flossing isn’t necessary and that there are ways you can get around it, but in fact, flossing is crucial. Taking the extra few minutes to floss between your teeth at least once a day will save you a ton of misery (not to mention your money!).
We’ll also share some tips to help you stick to a flossing routine if you’re struggling to stay on track.
What Happens If You Don’t Floss Your Teeth?
So, what happens if you don’t floss your teeth? Turns out, lots of unpleasant things happen in your mouth when you don’t floss. The longer you go without flossing, the deeper the consequences. Let’s look at the consequences, in order from least severe to most severe.
Failing to floss for a few days or weeks can result in bad breath. That’s because there’s lingering plaque between your teeth.
Plaque is that sticky film that coats your teeth. It’s the result of bacteria in your mouth feeding off sugars. When you eat starchy, carb-heavy foods like white bread, potatoes and sugar, you get extra plaque.
If you don’t remove plaque from in between your teeth, you risk developing cavities. Cavities are caused by lingering plaque that hardens and turns into tartar.
Plaque is easy to remove, but you need a dentist to remove tartar from your teeth. Tartar is acidic, and it bores holes into your teeth, causing cavities.
If you neglect flossing for too long, you risk gingivitis. This is the first stage of gum disease, and while it’s reversible, it should be taken seriously.
Gingivitis is a condition where the gingiva (the part of the gums at the base of your teeth) becomes inflamed, swollen, and irritated. Signs of gingivitis include bleeding, red, swollen, or sore gums.
Gum recession can happen as a result of untreated gingivitis. When the gums become inflamed, they can pull away from the teeth, exposing the roots. Exposed roots can cause pain from hot or cold temperatures and increase your risk of infection.
If you fail to floss for an extended period of time, you can develop periodontitis, otherwise known as gum disease.
The gums are meant to protect your teeth and keep your teeth in place, but infected gums can wear away the jaw bone that keeps your teeth in place. When the bone wears away, you risk loose teeth, and eventually, tooth loss.
One of the first signs of periodontitis are gum pockets or deeper spaces or openings around the teeth.
Tooth loss is the ultimate consequence of not flossing. The bone that supports the teeth wears away, and it isn’t strong enough to hold the teeth in place anymore. You can experience loose teeth, and eventually lose them.
Other Consequences Of Not Flossing
If you let gum disease go unchecked, it can damage your immune system and make you susceptible to infection and sickness in general. There’s some evidence that gum infections can enter your bloodstream, affecting the kidneys, the heart, and the respiratory system.
Untreated gum disease can even lead to pneumonia. Inhaling your own mouth bacteria can infect your lungs.
Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Floss?
Many people think that bleeding from flossing is a sign that they should stop. On the contrary, seeing blood is actually a sign that you’re not flossing enough. Your gums are bleeding because they’re not used to being stimulated. When gums aren’t stimulated, they become weak and inflamed.
Keep flossing (with a soft floss) and you should see less bleeding.
I Floss Everyday But My Gums Still Bleed. Help!
If you’re continually bleeding despite daily flossing, you might need to work on your flossing technique. Avoid “snapping” the floss between your teeth. Snapping damages your gums. Instead, try to slide the floss gently between your teeth, and wrap the floss around your tooth in a C-shape. Move the floss from the base of the tooth to the top and repeat a few times.
Check out last week’s blog post to learn the Dos and Don’ts of flossing!
If you’re still bleeding after fixing your technique, consult a dentist.
How To Make Flossing Easier
If you’re having trouble sticking to a flossing routine, your dental floss might be the culprit. Generic floss causes shredding, and is generally not very user friendly.
Upgrade to our Smart Floss. It’s thin enough to slide between tight teeth, and it expands when moistened for excellent coverage. It removes 55% more plaque than generic floss!
The unique cardamom flavor will make you actually look forward to your flossing routine (who would have thought!?).
If you’re looking for a vegan dental floss option, try our Activated Charcoal Floss. This lemongrass-flavored floss uses a plant-based wax coating, and the activated charcoal adds even more cleaning power.
We know it can be hard to stick to a flossing routine at first. But when you consider what happens if you don’t floss, you’ll see that it’s worth it to take the extra 2 minutes everyday to floss. Gingivitis and periodontitis are serious diseases that’ll cause you pain and misery. They’ll even end up costing you thousands of dollars down the line — money that you’d probably rather spend on that vacation to Bali!
There’s no substitute for flossing. No amount of aggressive brushing or swishing with mouthwash can remove the plaque from between your teeth. So get your hands on some high-quality dental floss, and let’s get flossing!
Flossing with Smart Floss makes this part of your oral hygiene routine easy, fun, and delicious. Before long, you won’t be avoiding your flossing routine — you’ll actually be looking forward to it!
Shop our Smart Floss now, or choose our Activated Charcoal Floss for a vegan dental floss option.