It’s an unfortunate fact that many people do not include flossing their teeth as part of their daily routine. They might believe that brushing is enough to keep their mouth healthy, or perhaps they think they don’t have the time to floss — but in reality, flossing is vital if you want a beautiful, healthy smile. Your dentist is here to discuss why you should never let a day go by without flossing.
Brushing Isn’t Enough
When you brush your teeth, you’re cleaning about 60 percent of your teeth’s surfaces. The other 40 percent is between your pearly whites, and your toothbrush simply isn’t capable of reaching into those tight spaces.
If you don’t floss, plaque and tartar build up between teeth, putting you at an increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Plaque and Tartar — Your Smile’s Enemies
Plaque is a soft, somewhat sticky substance that is the product of the interaction between the food you eat and the bacteria in your mouth. It is chock-full of acid-producing bacteria, and that acid can quickly erode your tooth enamel and lead to cavities. The bacteria can also irritate your gums and lead to periodontal disease. Brushing removes plaque from the chewing surface, front, and back of each tooth. Flossing is the best way to get rid of the plaque between the teeth.
If you neglect flossing for long enough, the plaque remains on your teeth and hardens into tartar. Tartar is bad news because it is impossible to remove with the dental tools you have at home. Only a professional can get rid of it.
Aesthetic Benefits of Flossing
Everyone knows that floss is handy after you’ve eaten a tasty salad and need to remove the piece of spinach that’s stuck between your front teeth, but its aesthetic benefits go even further. Everyday activities contribute to stains on your teeth, and you might use mouth rinses or whitening toothpaste in an attempt to get rid of such stains. However, plaque creates a barrier between whitening agents and your teeth, making it more difficult for you to get the stunning smile you’ve always wanted. By using floss to vanquish plaque, you open the way for yourself to have brighter teeth.
Start Flossing Today!
If you are among the many who do not floss as often as is recommended, now is the perfect time to start changing your ways. Here are a few tips to help you get into the habit:
- Visit your dentist and ask your hygienist to show you proper flossing technique.
- Keep your floss somewhere it’s easy to see rather than in a drawer.
- Reward yourself after you’ve flossed every day for 30 days in a row.
Never underestimate the power of dental floss — it’s an important tool for keeping your teeth healthy and strong.
About the Dentist
Dr. Erick T. Anderson is happy to provide quality dental care to folks in Colorado Springs. He enjoys educating his patients on how they can care for their teeth at home, and he would be pleased to give you some pointers on how to get the most benefit from your oral hygiene routine. Please feel free to contact our office at 719-593-0988.