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Veterans Affairs Dental Insurance Program


5 reasons to floss every day

You know brushing twice a day is important. But do you floss? And, no, twice a month doesn’t count. Here’s why you shouldn’t write off this essential step.

1. Plaque acts quickly.

Skipping a few days allows bacteria the perfect amount of time to solidify. Plaque starts to harden within hours of eating, and once 48 hours have passed, the cavity-causing substance will be firmly stuck to your teeth, best removed by a professional cleaning.

2. Your gums will stop bleeding.

Don’t want to floss because it leaves the thread bloody? Although it may seem counterintuitive, flossing actually reduces the occurrence of bleeding gums. If you remove bacteria from the gum line, your body won’t send blood cells to the area to fight the infection. Happy gums and happy you!

3. The rest of your body will be healthier.

Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and even respiratory disease have all been linked to gum disease. By maintaining your gum health, you’ll help cut down your risk of these serious conditions — or improve your condition, if you’re already affected.

4. Your teeth will stay strong.

What’s worse than getting a cavity? Getting a cavity in between two teeth. Remove bacterial buildup in those hard-to-reach areas, and you’ll save yourself the pain of going under the drill.

5. You’re flossing for two.

Pregnant women have an extra reason to floss: Gum disease is linked to premature and low-weight birth.

Published August 2018