Our Surrey dentists are sometimes asked why patients should floss if they’re brushing their teeth thoroughly twice a day. Here’s why you should take a few more minutes to check flossing off your task list when it comes to your at-home oral care routine.
We all want a healthy smile and to be able to reveal our white teeth for the world to see. So, you see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings, and brush on a strict schedule - twice every day. But is it really critical that you floss, or is this an extra step you don’t really need to be concerned about? Our dentists share some insight on why flossing is so important.
Take Time to Floss
You’ve probably heard from your dentist that brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice each day, and flossing once per day are essential steps in any at-home oral hygiene routine.
But, life gets in the way. You rush out the door in the morning and practically fall into bed at night. It’s all too easy to convince yourself that doing an amazing job at brushing your teeth makes them look and feel sparkly clean. It won’t hurt to skip flossing sometimes...right?
However, brushing alone is not enough to maintain healthy gums — and a healthy smile. While your toothbrush removes bacteria and plaque from your teeth, flossing has the vital function of getting rid of food particles in those hard-to-reach places. Did you know that brushing only cleans two-thirds of your tooth’s surface?
As a consequence of cutting flossing, bacteria and plaque can stick below your gum line and in the tight spaces between your teeth. This can later lead to plaque buildup, tartar and periodontal disease.
Throughout the day, plaque develops and sticks to your teeth. If it’s not brushed or flossed away, it later grows into tartar and causes cavities. It can also make its way under your gum line and result in gum disease.
When plaque hasn’t been brushed from your teeth, it collects and hardens into tartar in as little as 36 hours.
When this occurs, you’ll be unable to eliminate tartar with a toothbrush and floss. A dental professional will need to use special tools to remove tartar during your regular hygiene cleaning appointment.
By flossing daily, you’ll keep the plaque from accumulating in the tight spaces between your teeth before it has a chance to build up into tartar. Plus, the less tartar your dental team has to scrape away, the more comfortable — and brief — your dental appointments will be.
You’ll also reduce your risk of developing cavities, tooth decay or gum disease. Make sure your smile stays healthy by flossing each day, and save yourself time in our dental chair when you see us for your dental hygiene cleaning.