Do You Need to Floss Every Day? (Benefits and Drawbacks)

You probably know that you should be flossing, but should you be flossing every day? 

It's a common question to ask! If you’re someone who wants to look after their smile and protect their health, this article is for you. 

In this article, we will be discussing whether you should be flossing every day with the help of expert opinions and scientific studies. 

We’ll see what the CDC has to say and cover what benefits flossing every day may have. 

We’ll also talk about some of the best tips when it comes to flossing, and if there are any drawbacks to flossing every day. 

Let's get into it! 

Is Daily Flossing Necessary? 

Yes. While skipping the occasional floss is unlikely to cause you any harm, you should be flossing your teeth every day according to the CDC

The CDC states that daily brushing paired with daily flossing helps to remove the harmful bacteria that result in gum or periodontal disease. 

The ADA recommends brushing your teeth for 2 minutes twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Some people prefer to floss during their morning routine, while others like one final cleaning before bed.

Benefits of Daily Flossing 

Daily flossing is an important practice when you want to protect your teeth and gums from dental disease. 

There are many benefits to daily flossing such as removing plaque, protecting against cavities, and keeping your breath fresh. Other benefits include: 

1. Removes plaque build-up 

While brushing your teeth helps to remove the plaque that has built up on your teeth, flossing is the best way to remove the plaque that gets lodged between your teeth. 

Flossing also helps to get rid of any food particles that feed the plaque-causing bacteria. 

2. Reduces your risk of gum disease 

Most people won’t automatically think that their gums will benefit from daily flossing. 

However, they may actually stand to benefit the most! Protecting our gyms also means protecting our teeth and our smile. 

Scientists have proven that daily flossing helps to protect your gums against gum disease. 

Regardless, flossing your teeth is a simple, low-cost way to help boost your oral hygiene as well as your overall health.

3. Protects against cavities 

Cavities occur when there has been damage to the enamel in your teeth. This allows small holes to form, which can lead to a variety of issues such as infection and sensitive teeth – not to mention a hefty dentist bill!

While brushing is a great way to protect most of the surface of your teeth from cavities, flossing helps to get between your teeth and stop cavities from forming in these areas. 

4. Freshens your breath 

The small spaces between our teeth are unfortunately a great place for food particles (and plaque) to hide. 

This can cause bad breath – a big worry for many of us. Daily flossing removes this debris from the hard-to-reach areas and ensures our breath is always fresh. 

“...flossing regularly can prevent bad breath, and skipping the process of flossing can quickly lead to bad breath…” - Dr. Salvator La Mastra

5. Avoids any awkward mishaps 

It happens to the best of us!

We’ve all been there: that feeling of knowing you’ve got food stuck in your teeth from lunch when a coworker has come up to us. It's an awkward moment that can be avoided with regular flossing! 

Drawbacks of Daily Flossing

Although daily flossing is recommended by experts, some people will still find the process a little tedious (especially when you first start flossing every day). 

Some other drawbacks include: 

Time 

We’re all short of it! Especially if you’re someone who's always in a rush out of the door, flossing can add to the morning rush. 

Flossing usually takes between 2 and 3 minutes, so it may take some time to make room in your morning routine for flossing if you’re not already used to it. 

Gum Irritation 

If you’re not used to flossing your teeth daily, then your gums may be irritated once you start the practice. 

Although this usually stops after a few days, you may notice bleeding in the space between your teeth, especially if you are being too rough. 

If your gums bleed or become inflamed and sore while flossing gently, or you notice the pain shortly after flossing, it’s usually a sign that there’s something else going on in your mouth. 

To reduce gum irritation, opt for waxed floss which is more gentle on your gums. 

Tips For Daily Flossing 

  1. Floss first, brush second: This is something that most people get wrong! However, the best method is to floss your teeth before you brush. The brushing helps to remove the plaque you’ve removed from between your teeth
  2. Use enough floss: Ideally, you should use a new piece of floss for each area between your teeth. To do this, you’ll need between 15 and 20 inches of floss
  3. Take care: Your gums may be sensitive when you start flossing your teeth, so it is best to not be too rough when you floss!
  4. Make it part of your routine: Adding something new into your routine – even if it is only a few minutes a day – can be tough. However, if you want to look after your teeth properly, it is important to leave yourself an extra few minutes both in the morning and at night
  5. Use non-toxic floss: It is important to use safe floss, especially since you should be using floss every single day. 

Floss such as Boka’s Ela Mint Floss is free of nasties such as PBPA, teflon, parabens, SLS, and PFAS!

Recommendations for Optimal Oral Hygiene 

We’ve already discussed that one of the best things you can do for your oral hygiene is to floss every day.

However, there is more to looking after your teeth than just daily flossing! While tips such as brushing twice a day are obvious, others may surprise you:

1. Use high-quality toothpaste 

Using dentist-quality toothpaste helps not only to clean your teeth properly but also to protect your teeth from damage between brushes.

Brushing your teeth with toothpaste after you floss will also allow the toothpaste to reach between your teeth and protect these areas. 

Toothpaste like Boka’s n-Ha toothpaste helps to remineralize teeth and will help to protect your teeth’s enamel, which will stop your teeth from becoming sensitive! 

A good quality toothpaste with antibacterial properties will also make sure your breath stays fresh all day. 

2. Invest in an electric toothbrush 

While manual toothbrushes will do a great job of cleaning your teeth, studies have found that electric toothbrushes do a better job of removing plaque

This is because new-generation electric toothbrushes (such as Boka’s electric toothbrush) vibrate up to 30,000 times a minute to remove plaque from even the hardest-to-reach areas. 

3. Regularly replace your toothbrush 

It is important to note that old toothbrushes are not as good at cleaning your teeth! 

A good rule of thumb is to change your toothbrush with every new season. 

The CDC recommends. “Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, or sooner if the bristles look worn out.”

4. Don’t shy away from the dentist 

While the dentist's chair is hardly anyone’s favorite place to be, it is important to get regular check-ups.  

Regular care and prevention of diseases in the mouth are the best possible care you can give your teeth. It’s because regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums.

It is generally recommended that you have dental checkups every 6-12 months unless you have had issues with your dental health in the past or are over the age of 50, in which case you should get a check-up every few months. 

Making sure you make these appointments helps to identify small problems with your teeth you are unlikely to notice yourself, and helps manage these before they become bigger problems. 

5. Avoid sugary foods 

Easier said than done, we know. 

However, avoiding sugary foods is important when it comes to protecting your teeth! 

The bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugars in your diet and produce acids that can erode tooth enamel – resulting in cavities and tooth sensitivities. 

Regular consumption of sugar increases the risk of developing dental caries, especially if the food is sticky or consumed between meals. Snacks and beverages containing sugars have particularly harmful effects on teeth. Those who smoke and consume alcohol are also at a higher risk.

If you do eat a sugary meal, rinse your mouth out with water – or better yet, give your teeth a good brush. 

6. Chew sugar-free gum 

Chewing sugar-free gum is a great way to quickly freshen your breath and actually helps to remove pesky food particles by increasing how much saliva your mouth produces! 

The saliva also helps to neutralize any acids after eating sweets, fruits, or other foods, which can cause damage to your teeth.  

Dry mouth and bad breath can be caused by reduced saliva flow. Chewing sugar-free gum can increase saliva flow and reduce symptoms.

Use mouthwash between brushes 

Mouthwash can be useful for more than just keeping your breath fresh at all times.

Studies claim that mouthwash is a great way to get rid of the bacteria that brushing or flossing can’t quite get. 

This helps to reduce plaque buildup, protecting our teeth from damage. 

Mouthwash tablets are a great way to reduce waste and are easily popped into your bag on the go! 

Mouthwash such as Boka’s iteration also helps to support a healthy microbiome, which keeps the bad bacteria in your mouth at bay. 

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