Our Surrey dentists are often asked why patients should floss if they brush thoroughly twice each day. Here’s why you should spend a few minutes to make flossing a critical step in your at-home oral care routine.
Everyone wants a healthy smile and to be able to show off their pearly whites to the world. So, you come in for regular dental checkups and cleanings and brush religiously twice a day. But is it really important that you floss, or is it an extra step you don’t really need to worry about? Our dentists explain why flossing is imperative.
Make Time to Floss
Your dentist will tell you that brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice every day, and flossing once a day are foundational blocks to your at-home oral hygiene routine.
It’s all too easy to do a fantastic job of brushing your teeth so they look and feel sparkly clean, and skip the flossing process because it’s often the end of the day, and you’re exhausted. You’re tired, and just want to fall into bed. However, brushing alone is not enough to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy.
While a toothbrush removes bacteria and plaque from your teeth, flossing also holds an important role. You’ll have problems reaching about one-third of your tooth’s surface with your toothbrush. Nix flossing and those hard-to-reach places just won’t get clean.
Consequently, plaque and bacteria can remain below your gum line and in the tight spaces between your teeth. They can later cause buildup and periodontal disease.
Plaque develops throughout the day and sticks to your teeth. If it isn’t brushed away, it later becomes tartar and leads to cavities. It can also get under your gum line and cause gum disease.
Tartar is plaque that hasn’t been brushed from your teeth. In fact, it takes as little as 36 hours for plaque to become tartar.
By the time this has occurred, tartar cannot be removed with a toothbrush and floss. You’ll need a dental professional to use special tools to eliminate the tartar during your regular hygiene cleaning appointment.
With daily flossing, you can keep plaque from building up in the tight spaces between your teeth before it has a chance to progress to tartar. Bonus: the less tartar that has to be scraped away by your dental team, the more comfortable - and shorter - your dental appointments will be.
You’ll also cut your risk of developing cavities, gum disease or tooth decay. Keep your smile healthy by flossing each day, and save yourself time in our dental chair when you come to your dental hygiene cleaning appointment.