Have you ever heard the age old saying “you only need to floss the teeth you want to keep” and wondered if there is any truth to it? Well in this case, it is very good advice. In additon to regularly scheduled dental cleanings, flossing is a vital step in reducing bacteria and debris that ravage your mouth. As a matter of fact, brushing may be the most important aspect of maintaining good oral health, but if flossing isn’t part of your dental hygiene routine you are setting up your mouth and teeth for major problems.
Regular daily brushing helps cut down on the plaque and bacteria that build up on your teeth. The American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day. Flossing, alongside brushing, helps eliminate up to 35% of the plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Think of it this way, when you shower do you only wash 65% of your body? Brushing without flossing is like leaving the dirtiest parts of your body or 35% of your body unwashed.
When plaque between your teeth is not removed it hardens and turns into tartar. Tartar has different types of harmful bacteria that build up on your teeth. This hard and harmful substance releases toxins that irritate your gums, causing inflammation and other problems. Unfortunately unlike plaque that can be removed with brushing and flossing, tartar can only be removed by a dental professional. Gingivitis can develop if tarter is left untreated. Gingivitis is a form of periodontal disease when left untreated can lead to tooth loss.
So you may ask yourself, “What happens in I don’t floss”? Well your oral health will certainly be compromised if you choose not to floss. We can tell you with certainty that brushing and flossing daily helps eliminate the bacteria that lead to bad breath, tartar, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. Flossing your teeth regularly will help you create a smile that can last a lifetime. Finding floss that glides easily between your teeth can help make the process easier and more enjoyable. If you struggle with flossing, ask Dr. Juban for tips or product like an interdental cleaner that can help make flossing easier.