flossIf you were stranded on a desert island and could have only one modern convenience with you, what would it be? Before you answer, remember that you might not be stranded with a dentist Grand Rapids considers one of the best. Time’s up! Did you consider dental floss? No one wants to end up like Tom Hanks in Castaway, performing his own emergency dental care. Floss is one of the most important modern devices not just for dental health, but for overall health as well.

At Dental Associates of West Michigan, we always stress the importance of both brushing and flossing. Flossing is key because it’s the only way to get between your teeth and perform your own interdental cleaning. And between your teeth and under the gums is where tartar tends to build up and form plaque, the sticky bacteria rich film.

Here are five main benefits our patients get from flossing:

  1. Prevent tartar buildup. Tartar is the hardened plaque that forms on your teeth, and removing it requires professional cleaning every six months. If you find it uncomfortable when the hygienist scrapes tartar from your teeth, you can greatly reduce the tartar build-up by flossing regularly. Flossing away the plaque before it hardens into tartar can make your professional cleaning much more comfortable.
  2. Help prevent other diseases. Dental health has been proven to affect your overall health in surprising ways. Studies link dental health issues to many other diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory illness. Flossing helps reduce the bacteria that flourish in the mouth, which contribute to many health issues.
  3. Preserve your youthful good looks. Flossing helps protect gums from gingivitis, an early and reversible stage of gum disease. Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, tooth and bone loss, discolored teeth, and discomfort, all of which can make you look older than you really are.
  4. Avoid bad breath. Brushing and rinsing with mouthwash immediately make your mouth feel fresher. Flossing’s benefits are equally important for fresh smelling breath in the long term, because flossing removes the plaque that causes bad breath, and prevents diseases that also cause bad breath as well.
  5. Save money. Along with your toothbrush, flossing is the most efficient, cost effective tool for oral and dental health. You’ll save money in the long haul by keeping your teeth as healthy as you can.


Next time you brush your teeth, think about that desert island, and the importance of flossing. For tips on how to floss, see the ADA or contact Dental Associates of West Michigan at 616-554-5970 and schedule a visit.

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