Poetically speaking, the eyes might be the windows to the soul, but anatomically speaking, the mouth is the doorway to just about everything else in the human body. Good dental hygiene opens that door to a healthful life. How to avoid gum disease? Our general dentist in Pineville NC promotes flossing as a necessary, though often neglected step. Here are five reasons why you should floss beyond the “just do it” admonitions of your dental hygienist.

1. Flossing is a life-saver. When it comes to gum disease, there is no such thing as “health food”. Everything from apples to candy bars provides a food source for naturally occurring biofilms: virulent, microbial colonies that make their home in the crevices of gums and eventually cause gum disease. Losing teeth from gum disease is bad enough. But recent studies have linked unhealthy gums to life-losing cardiovascular diseases, as well as diabetes and cystic fibrosis.

2. Flossing is sociable. Unless you plan to interact with the world solely through Facebook and Twitter, bad breath is a total turn-off, made even more so by the fact that you can’t tell you have it, and other people are too polite or too repelled to tell you so. Flossing makes face-to-face encounters, be they business or personal, worry-free.

3. Flossing is an attitude changer. Do it once or twice every once in a while, and you feel guilty. But develop the habit of doing it regularly, and you’re a winner, a person who has the willpower and self-control to take good care of themselves.

4. Flossing can be a diet tool. That late night, munch-in-bed snack might just go uneaten if you’re duty-bound to follow it with another round of brushing and flossing.

5. Flossing is cheap. You could buy several lifetimes worth of the most expensive dental floss on the market for the price of one root canal or dental implant. Floss and spend all the money you save on a great vacation.

There is, of course, much more to be said about dental hygiene and how to avoid gum disease. But our dentist in Pineville hopes this short list will get you started on a daily program of flossing, along with brushing of course, not just for you, but for those you care about as well.