How Flossing Can Boost Your Immune System (And How To Do It Right)

If you’re looking to boost your immune system and fight back against viruses and illness, the best place to start may be your mouth! Flossing properly can help boost your immune system, and keep you healthy even during flu season and other times when common illnesses are widespread. How? Find out in this blog from Cardinal Family Dentistry. 

Flossing Removes Bacteria From Your Mouth, Lessening Your Oral Immune Response 

So, how does flossing help boost your immune system? It’s pretty simple to understand. Your immune system only has a limited number of immune cells like white blood cells and antibodies, which can fight back against bacterial and viral infections.

That means that if your body has to fight against bacteria or viruses in multiple places at once, your immune system won’t be as efficient. That’s why flossing can help improve your immune response.

Flossing regularly helps remove a lot of bacteria from your mouth that is left behind by brushing alone. If you do not floss regularly, these bacteria can build up on your teeth and gums. 

Excessive bacteria in your mouth will cause your immune system to respond by sending immune cells to the gums, which will thicken and swell. If you do not floss or care for your teeth properly, this can progress into gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease.

But by brushing and flossing regularly, you can avoid inflamed gums and gum disease, reduce the overall number of oral bacteria in your mouth, and ensure that your body does not have to send as many immune cells to your mouth. This ensures that your body can respond properly to the presence of viruses or bacteria elsewhere, keeping your immune system strong.

How Do I Floss Properly?

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide.

  1. Unravel about 18-24 inches of floss from your floss container, Wrap most of it around either your index or middle finger, and the remainder around the opposite finger
  2. Grasp about 1 inch of floss between your fingers. Use a gentle rocking motion to glide it between your teeth
  3. Move the floss down to the gumline. Curl it into a “c” shape, and scrape it up and down between each tooth to dislodge food debris and bacteria
  4. Repeat this process for each tooth

Need a visual guide? Click here for a quick overview of proper flossing technique.

How Often Should I Floss?

It’s a good idea to floss at least once per day, and you can choose to brush either before or after flossing. The order that you brush and floss doesn’t matter. As long as you floss at least once per day, you’ll enjoy a cleaner mouth and a stronger immune system!

Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Floss? 

If you haven’t flossed regularly for a long time, it’s normal for your gums to bleed when you floss. Your gums are inflamed, which makes them more sensitive and more likely to be irritated and bleed. As you floss consistently, your gums will become less inflamed, and you will be less likely to bleed when you floss.

Need Preventive Care In Apex? Cardinal Family Dentistry Is Here To Help

Brushing and flossing are just part of a great oral care routine. You should also see a dentist like Dr. Sarah S. Barker for a six-month teeth cleaning and oral exam to ensure your smile is healthy. To get started with preventive care at Cardinal Family Dentistry, just call us at (919) 589-5001, or contact us online for an appointment.

Ready to Get Started? Contact Us Now.