(CLEVELAND CLINIC) – Flossing can sometimes seem like hard work, but it’s an important part of dental hygiene and — believe it or not — heart health.

Research suggests that this link may be partially due to periodontal or gum disease, which leads to inflammation and bacteria in the heart. That being said, doctors say the risk really depends on the individual. Some people who barely floss or brush have no problems, while others may have the slightest amount of plaque and experience serious complications. Doctors add that they can also tell when someone is not flossing. For example, they may have bleeding or swollen gums, loose teeth, lots of plaque, tooth decay, bad breath, and gum recession. So what can someone do to prevent this?

“I think a lot of people are never taught how to floss properly and what kind of floss to use, so during one of these visits we can work with you and show you how. And then just make it part of your daily routine. I say it’s fine to floss once a day, so ideally at night before you go to bed,” explained Dr Sasha Ross, Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Ross says there are other products available that can help if you have trouble flossing, such as using a water nozzle or special brushes that can clean between teeth.

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