You hear your dentist tell you to floss more or that you need to start flossing regularly, but do you know why?
Some patients think they can simply get by with brushing their teeth and calling it a day. Other patients exclaim that it is uncomfortable or their gums bleed after they finish.
The fact of the matter is you need to floss regularly. Brushing your teeth can only clean your teeth so much. Your teeth have small crevices that a brush simply can’t reach on its own. This is where floss comes in. Flossing allows you to clean those tiny spots where food and other germs might build up causing plaque.
Sure, plaque isn’t the worst thing in the world, but enough of it and it can turn into pesky tartar. Tartar is a difficult mess of a substance that can only be removed via help from a dentist such as myself.
Besides tartar, plaque can cause diseases such as gingivitis and inflammation. Remember what I said about patients saying their gums bleed when they floss? Bleeding gums as a result of flossing can be a sign of gingivitis. Flossing allows you to keep your teeth clean to prevent such things from happening in the first place.
If you aren’t sure about how you should start flossing here are some pointers.
- Use a long piece of floss, giving yourself enough slack for comfortable movement, but remember to only leave about 2 inches between your 2 index fingers for a proper clean.
- Move the floss back and forth between and along the teeth to ensure every spot is cleaned.
- Read this guide by the ADA if you need more advice on how to floss properly.
Flossing is important but so is a regular cleaning! Reach out to us to schedule your next cleaning today.