Flossing For Good Heart Health

As well as brushing your teeth regularly and going for regular dental checkups, it is very important that you also floss regularly -2 or 3 times a week at least (but preferably on a daily basis). Some people will only floss when they can feel food stuck in between their teeth, but there may be smaller pieces of food in there, that you can’t feel and which will be rotting away and causing bad breath.


Not only does flossing help you dislodge food, but it also removes plaque and polishes the surface of your teeth. It will help you to keep your teeth for longer by helping you to avoid decay and will also help prevent gum disease.

Toothpicks may be used if you have annoying bits of food stuck between your teeth after a meal, however, they should not be used as a substitute for flossing because they only help you remove the food that you are able to feel protruding from the teeth and they will also not help against plaque, gum disease and decay.

There is another very good reason for flossing your teeth regularly, which I didn’t understand until now – there is strong medical evidence to suggest a link between flossing and the prevention of heart disease. They say that people with periodontal disease are twice as likely to develop heart disease. The reason being, that diseased gums have high levels of bacteria, which will eventually leak into your bloodstream, causing inflammation in other parts of the body and perhaps ultimately cardiovascular problems.

Furthermore, results of a recent study published by the Journal of the American Heart Association found that if people had certain disease causing bacteria in the mouth, then they were more likely to have blocked arteries in the neck(atherosclerosis), which can result in stroke.

Therefore, flossing isn’t just helping you to keep your mouth in good health, but also the rest of your body.

There are several types of dental floss available:

Wide floss (also known as dental tape) is good for people with bridges in their mouth or people who have wide spaces between teeth. Then there’s waxed and unwaxed floss. The wax finish makes it easier to slide between tight spaces in teeth, however, the unwaxed will squeak when rubbed against clean teeth and so you will know when all plaque has been removed. They are also available in flavored and unflavored.

Which type you use depends upon your mouth, your personal preference and you could also ask for your dentist’s recommendation, but do make sure you use it on a daily basis in order to keep a healthy mouth and a healthy heart.