Why You Must Make Flossing a Part Of Your Routine?
Each time you visit your dentist, he or she will usually floss your teeth as part of the standard, routine teeth cleaning. You may have also heard him or her stress the importance of flossing.
- Flossing is the part of proper dental hygiene many people forget, ignore or find excuses to not do. Some patients are scared to floss because it can make their gums bleed.
- Bleeding gums are not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to flossing. The more your gums bleed, the more likely your gums have become weakened and compromised with plaque build-up. If this is the case, it’s high time that you pay a visit to your dentist.
- Even with the best toothbrush and adequate tooth brushing techniques, plaque can still grow and accumulate in those hard-to-reach places on your teeth and gums.
This is why daily flossing is important.
What makes plaque bad for your oral health and how does flossing keep it at bay?
Plaque results from a chemical reaction between the sugars and carbohydrates in the foods and drinks we consume (except water). The resulting reaction creates a germ and bacteria laden film that sticks to the surface of your teeth and gums.
Plaque build-up begins as a soft film that can be easily removed with proper dental hygiene including teeth brushing and flossing. If it is ignored, it can harden and become more difficult to remove. The hardened plaque can eat away at your tooth enamel, making your teeth vulnerable to disease and decay. The plaque can also seep into your gums, causing them to weaken and become irritated and uncomfortable.
Most cases of plaque build-up result in cavities and low-level to moderate gum disease. Cavities and this type of gum disease can be quickly and easily treated by your dentist. The plaque damage done at this level to your oral health typically isn’t significant. Your dentist will advise you to alter and improve your dental hygiene routine to keep plaque at bay and to prevent additional dental issues.
If plaque build-up is never treated early on, severe dental issues will likely arise. Advanced tooth decay and gum disease can be painful and uncomfortable and can easily ruin your beautiful smile. In the worst cases, teeth can be lost and the bone in a patient’s jaw can be destroyed.
What Happens When You Don’t Floss and Plaque Takes Over?
- Costlier and more complex, advanced, invasive dental treatment measures will need to be employed to save a patient’s teeth and preserve their oral health.
- Advanced gum disease and tooth decay, lost teeth and bone damage to the jaw are not only more costly and time-consuming to treat, but they can open the door to additional oral and overall health issues that can decrease one’s quality of life.
How Flossing Helps Prevent Plaque
As mentioned before, brushing your teeth twice daily isn’t enough to fully protect your teeth and gums from the build-up of plaque. There are places in your mouth, between teeth and along the gum line of teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach.
If these areas aren’t cleaned daily, the plaque will build up, which will lead to the possible dental issues mentioned earlier.
Flossing enables you to clean out the food particles in those areas that would have been broken down into plaque.
Food For Thought: Just as proper tooth brushing is important in cleaning your teeth and gums without causing unnecessary damage, so is proper flossing in removing would-be plaque while preventing unintentional harm and irritation to the gums.
Dentists advise their patients to floss at least once a day. Correct flossing involves moving the floss back and forth along the shape of each tooth below the gum line. To save time in this process, it can be tempting to force the floss between the middle of teeth instead of going along the perimeter of each tooth. This forceful flossing method will irritate and harm your gums and will likely cause them to bleed. Proper flossing is a tedious process, but the time spent on it will be worth it.
We invite you to call us at our dental office today to learn more about flossing and tooth cleaning in Durham, NC, and to schedule your next visit. We provide quality dental treatments to our surrounding communities of Durham, Raleigh and Morrisville, NC. We look forward to meeting you in person.
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