There is a reason your general dentist asks you if you floss every time you go for your six month cleaning appointment. While brushing is critical to removing stain and food debris from your teeth, flossing is the action that will stimulate gum tissue and grab the particles left behind by your toothbrush.
Another benefit from flossing is that when you floss you are helping to keep plaque from building up on teeth especially at the gum line. Patients that do not floss are more likely to suffer from an accumulation of tartar/plaque at and beneath the gum line.
Everyone has bacteria that lives in their mouth. When you eat and drink (except for plain water), some of the sugars and acids from what you consume are left behind on your teeth clinging to the bacteria already present.
The bacteria that lingers behind starts out as a sticky substance. If you brush right after eating you might be successful in getting rid of much of the bacteria … however, that sticky stuff can harden in a matter of hours becoming plaque on your teeth. With each successive meal or snack, more bacteria is left behind allowing plaque to grow.
This is why flossing every day is so important. When you floss, you can remove much of the stuff that would eventually harden on your teeth before it has a chance to become so hard, only your dentist can remove it.
Dental floss is available in many varieties so if you don’t like the first one you try, move on to something else. There is plain, waxed, tape, flavored, floss threaders, and floss picks to name a few. Each time you have your teeth cleaned, your dental provider flosses your teeth. You can inquire about a recommendation.
Gum disease and dental decay can occur from plaque build-up. As children are more prone to cavity formation (their teeth are not as strong as an adult’s), teaching your child to floss might help to prevent decay.
Gum disease can develop at any age often due to neglect. Daily brushing and flossing, eating a diet of healthy foods and minimal sugar, drinking lots of plain water (less soda and sugary beverages), eliminating tobacco use and seeing your general dentist every six months for cleaning and exam … these things will help promote great dental health.
For more tips, contact our team at Richardson Dentistry today!