How Flossing Can Boost Your Immune System: Everything You Need To Know

You probably know that you should be flossing every day, and you know that doing so is great for your oral health. But did you know that flossing can actually help boost your immune system, too? Here’s how flossing helps boost your immune system, and a few tips that will help you get the most out of your daily flossing routine. 

Flossing Eliminates Oral Bacteria, Which Helps Strengthen Your Immune System

Wondering how flossing helps keep your immune system healthy and strong? It’s simple. The fewer bacteria there are in your mouth, the fewer immune cells your body has to send to your mouth to fight them.

As you may already know, brushing alone can only remove bacteria and plaque from about 60% of the surfaces of your teeth. Your toothbrush simply can’t get into the little cracks and crevices between your teeth, or clean the gums between your teeth.

So if you only brush your teeth, your gums could eventually become inflamed due to the buildup of bacteria between them. If left untreated, this can cause gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Immune cells will fight back against the bacteria in your mouth, and this inflammation will cause your gums to swell and thicken.

But if your teeth and gums are healthy and free of gingivitis and oral bacteria, your immune system won’t have to send immune cells to your mouth, which means they can be used to protect against threats elsewhere in your body. 

Our Tips For Flossing – Keep Your Immune System Strong! 

Now that you know flossing can help you keep your immune system strong, you may be wondering how you can ensure that you’re doing it right, and getting the most out of your oral care routine. Here are a few of our tips for flossing effectively. 

  • Avoid using floss picks – Floss picks use a plastic handle that contains a small length of floss. They can be useful if you have limited manual dexterity, but most patients are better off flossing with traditional floss. Why? Because floss picks don’t let you use a new section of floss for each tooth. Because you’ll be re-using the same section of floss over and over to clean all of your teeth, you may simply move bacteria and food debris around your mouth instead of removing them completely.
  • Make sure you use proper flossing technique – Not sure how to floss correctly? Take a look at this quick video guide and practice a little bit, and you’ll be flossing like the pros in no time
  • Rinse with mouthwash after flossing – You can floss at any time of day, as long as you remain consistent about flossing once per day. To enhance the effect of flossing, we suggest that you also rinse with mouthwash after you floss. Why? Because the mouthwash will help rinse away food debris that has been loosened while flossing, maximizing the effectiveness of your daily flossing routine.
  • Don’t worry about a little bit of blood – If you haven’t flossed daily in a long time, your gums will probably bleed a little bit for a few weeks when you begin flossing. This is normal, and is caused by inflammation. As you continue to floss daily, your gums will become less tender and inflamed, and will stop bleeding.

Follow These Tips To Keep Your Mouth & Immune System Healthy With Flossing! 

With these simple flossing tips from The Burkitt Center for Comprehensive Dentistry, you’ll be able to ensure that your smile stays healthy and strong, and that you maintain a healthy immune system. Need more tips on proper oral hygiene? Overdue for a six-month teeth cleaning and oral exam? Contact us online or give us a call at (615) 941-3368 to schedule an appointment with our team, and get the dental care you need.

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