Brushing twice daily is considered sufficient to clean the surfaces of your teeth, but brushing alone only reaches about two thirds of the surfaces of your teeth. Your dentist encourages you to floss daily as flossing reaches that other third of your dentition. Decay and gum disease often begin due to food debris left behind forming harmful tartar – something that might have been prevented with daily flossing.
Advantages of Flossing Teeth Daily
If you are only flossing once a day (which is considered adequate), it is best to do so as part of your bedtime regimen. That way you are able to remove anything that has become stuck between teeth throughout the day before it has a chance to harden into harmful tartar.
When you floss you will be able to see what your toothbrush couldn’t reach. If you do not floss, you are creating an opportunity for what your toothbrush missed to stay on your teeth. Eventually turning to tartar, you are providing an avenue for the onset of gum disease and the formation of dental decay.
Flossing takes about one to two minutes daily. There are a variety of products available making it easy to find one that is ideally suited to your needs.
There is a right way to floss. Gently move floss between all teeth making sure to touch all surfaces
between teeth. Use your floss to gently massage gum tissue. This will help keep gums invigorated.
What Can I Expect If I Don’t Floss?
Once harmful plaque turns to tartar on your teeth, some of the things you might experience include:
- Bad breath – Tartar on teeth harbors bacteria possibly resulting in halitosis.
- Bleeding gums – This is a possible early sign of gum disease or if you floss incorrectly, you may make your gums bleed unintentionally.
- Dental stain – Brushing and flossing daily helps keep teeth looking their best.
What should come first … flossing or brushing? It is believed by many that flossing should come first removing food particles from between teeth. Rinse your mouth thoroughly before brushing to flush away anything flossing did dislodge. When brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste, a quick rinse is sufficient and won’t negate some of the advantages of brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste or gel.
Finally, make sure to visit our dentist every six months for a cleaning and dental exam.