Dr. McVey’s top 10 reasons to floss your teeth

Dr. McVey’s top 10 reasons to floss your teeth

Flossing.

What does that word bring to mind? Perhaps, it seems like an unnecessary step in your daily routine. Maybe you can’t go a day without flossing. Whatever you think of, there are many good reasons to floss. Some of those reasons may seem obvious and others may seem surprising. So…without further delay…

Here is the countdown of the 10 Reasons to floss:

10. Flossing may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease and inflammation is a key player in cardiovascular disease. So reducing inflammation in your gums can reduce your cardiovascular risk.
9. Flossing may reduce the risk of female-specific health issues. Women experience fluctuating hormone levels throughout life. These hormone fluctuations impact the bacteria that grow in the mouth. Hormone-related gum disease seems to increase the risk of low birth weight, pre-term labor, osteoporosis and even fetal death. Though we don’t know at this time if there is a direct cause-and-effect relationship between these health issues and periodontal disease, there is definitely a strong correlation. 
8. Flossing may reduce complications associated with arthritis. Again, both arthritis and periodontal disease are inflammatory processes and controlling inflammation in one area can help the entire body.
7. Flossing may help prevent weight gain. Obesity and periodontal disease share inflammation in common. There appears to be a link between periodontal disease and metabolic syndrome, a condition marked by a cluster of conditions including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, obesity around the abdomen, and high cholesterol. It stands to reason that controlling inflammation could be helpful in the battle of the bulge.
6. Flossing can reduce your risk and complications associated with diabetes. Diabetics are more prone to inflammation-related problems and, as we’ve already discussed, flossing reduces inflammation of the gums. Maintaining good oral hygiene has been shown to have a positive impact on glycemic control in Type 2 diabetics.
5. Flossing can help you stay well. Respiratory ailments such as pneumonia and bronchitis are caused by bacterial and viral infections of the lungs. Researchers have found that the bacteria that grow in the mouth can invade the respiratory tract and make symptoms of bronchitis and pneumonia worse. Other studies have shown that elderly patients with good oral hygiene suffer much less frequently from pneumonia. 
4. Flossing can prevent periodontal disease. 
3. Flossing can prevent cavities that develop in between the teeth. 
2. Flossing can help control bad breath. The bacteria that grow between your teeth and below the gumline produce waste that can be very stinky, to say the least. 
1. And, finally, the number one reason to floss…So you won’t have to feel guilty about not flossing when your hygienist asks how often you floss!
Wheel of cheese cut and stacked in front of a stone wall

Photo by Alexander Maasch on Unsplash

Final Thoughts

I didn’t even mention that having floss available makes a handy cheese or cake slicer (try it, you’ll like it).

All in all, some pretty great reasons to floss. Remember: You don’t have to floss all your teeth, only the ones you want to keep.