While many people wouldn’t go to bed without brushing their teeth, floss is something that commonly gets forgotten. It is something that many people have been told they need to do, but no one has ever said why. If we understand more why we do something, we are much more likely to do it.
Floss does remove particles of food from between the teeth but this is not the only reason we floss. In our mouths we have thousands of bacteria that live in groups called colonies, some good, some bad. The bad bacteria take over when we feed them with extra sugars from our diet which then leads to holes and gum disease. The only thing that removes bacteria is physically removing it, like brushing your teeth. Using mouth rinse alone, the rinse cannot reach the bacteria in the colony and the bacteria survive. When we floss, the floss goes in between the teeth and breaks up the colonies. Then our saliva and mouth rinses can reach the bacteria and remove them from our teeth, preventing oral disease.
So when we floss and nothing seems to come out, the floss is still working to improve the health of our mouths. But to have the best effect, we have to do it once a day, preferably at night before bed. It is a hard habit to get into but once you do, the long term benefit for your health is fantastic!
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