It’s a standard question you are asked when you visit the dentist every six months for your teeth cleaning and check up — Are you flossing? For a lot of us (as we grit our teeth and smile wide, a classic body language sign for lying), the answer is no (although we may say yes or sometimes when the answer is a definitive, no). There are very important reasons why you are asked this at your family dentistry practice, most of which have to do with the health of your teeth.

Valley Ridge Dental, a family dentistry practice in Lake Elmo, is passionate about helping you keep your teeth healthy. After all, you’re only given one set, and once they are gone, your only option is false teeth. Below, we’ll dive into the reasons we care so much about your flossing habits. Contact us today!


  • Helps protect your gums. The number one reason to floss is to protect your gums. When tiny particles of food gets trapped up against your gums between your teeth, plaque hardens and can turn into tartar (more bad bacteria on your teeth that forms an additional layer that must be removed by a dentist). Plaque is that think sticky film that forms on your teeth that is basically bacteria. These are the bad kind of bacteria you do not want. Tartar is what causes gingivitis, or gum disease. If gum disease is left unchecked, it can turn into periodontitis, which can lead to tooth and bone loss. Flossing helps remove the food stuck in-between your teeth, preventing all of this from happening in the first place.
  • Helps prevent bad breath. The food that gets trapped in your teeth can cause an odor if there is bacteria in the food. Valley Ridge Dental in Lake Elmo reiterates that flossing helps to give your mouth a fresh scent and taste, as well as remove nasty food particles from your teeth.
    Helps keep your teeth healthy. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with preventative oral care. By removing food promptly from your teeth, you are helping to prevent bacteria build up that can cause problems down the road.
  • Helps prevent other diseases, such as heart disease. Once you have periodontal disease, recent studies have shown that your risk for heart disease goes up. This can be from either bacteria from your mouth getting into your bloodstream and thus impacting your cardiovascular system, or some researchers think that mouth infections cause an inflammatory response, which then can lead to blood clots.
  • Aids in brushing. For the optimal oral care, you need to be both flossing and brushing your teeth. Your toothbrush can only reach so far, so you are leaving behind many food particles in-between your teeth you just can’t reach.


When you partner with Valley Ridge Dental in Lake Elmo for family dentistry, you’ll experience the high-quality dental care for the whole family. We offer general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry services From dental implants to teeth whitening, we’ve got your oral health care covered. Contact us today to learn more!