We’ve all been there, sitting nervously in the dentist’s chair fiddling our thumbs while the hygenist gives us our dental interrogation. Sure, most of us brush our teeth regularly and even remember to use mouthwash afterward (as long as it doesn’t burn like firewater).

I get it: Flossing kind of sucks. But your dentist isn’t scolding you for your flossing habits because they’re a dental grinch (OK, maybe they are a little bit). At this point, you might be thinking I’m ready to find a new dentist, but I don’t know how to find the best orthodontist. Relax. Flossing is really good for you, I promise. Here are five reasons why you should give flossing another chance.

Fresh Breath

Our sense most tied to memory is the smell. The last thing any of us want to do is leave a lasting impression of bad breath for someone to remember us by. Yes, brushing your teeth, using mouthwash, and chewing gum can help, but to have a complete attack against odor-causing material in your mouth, you need to floss.

There are so many unpleasant little bits of food that get stuck in your teeth, that as they linger, begin to smell. Don’t let them fester. Freshen your breath with a little work between the teeth.

Prevent Disease

You might have noticed I didn’t just say gum disease. And it’s true. If you allow food to build up and become plaque, there is a good chance this behavior will lead to gum disease. That’s because bacteria in plaque has a lot of negative effects on our gums, including inflammation.

But it’s not just gum disease that flossing with help curb. There is a strong correlation between gum health and heart health. Research has shown that people who have gum disease have as high as a twenty percent increase to their chances of developing heart disease. This is linked to the fact that gum disease has been associated with the thinning of arteries, which in turn impacts cardiovascular health.

Appearance

One of the first things anyone notices about you is your smile. Healthy gums and the lack of little food particles between your teeth go a long way to improving your smile. Most dentists agree that flossing also brightens your smile.

Improve Health

We’ve mentioned some of the benefits of flossing which results in the prevention of disease, but there are several other health factors to consider. The first being bleeding gums. If you have a regular flossing routine, you will remove bacteria from your gums, resulting in less bleeding of your gums.

Additionally, taking care of your gums by flossing has shown to impact your respiratory system. Flossing decreases your chances of a stroke and contracting rheumatoid arthritis. Protecting your teeth truly makes a difference nearly everywhere else in your body.

Confidence

Perhaps the most undervalued perk of flossing is the boost in your confidence. When you floss, and you have all of the benefits from it we’ve already mentioned, you are going to feel better about yourself. You will smile more, be more likely to talk in social settings, and might even ask the person out you’ve wanted to for weeks.

Overall, taking care of your teeth has a tremendous upside. Which includes flossing. Combine daily practices with seeing a dentist routinely, and you’ve got a recipe for pretty good oral hygiene. If you need help finding dental insurance to help you in this endeavor, there are several good providers from which to select. Get a good plan, keeping flossing, and keeping smiling.