Plaque can ruin your smile, and it could lead to a host of dental problems once it hardens under the gum line. Flossing can help prevent plaque buildup. If you’re still not flossing at least once a day, here are some of the reasons why you should start now.
Dental floss can clean tiny gaps that a toothbrush cannot reach
The mouth is one of the dirtiest parts of the human body with more than 500 species of bacteria. Stopping bad bacteria can go a long way to preventing tooth decay and gum disease. One way to do this is by removing the bacteria’s food source.
Brushing removes bacteria from the tooth, but food particles can remain lodged in the gaps. Flossing can make a world of difference in keeping your mouth clean.
Flossing slows down plaque buildup
When bacteria mixes with protein and food, they form a sticky film that is referred to as dental plaque. It coats your teeth, sticks to fillings, and gets under your gum line. Bacteria carried by plaque releases acids that attack the tooth enamel. These continuous attacks can damage the enamel and lead to cavities.
Flossing slows down tartar buildup
Plaque hardens into tartar if it is not removed. When this happens, your gums may experience bleeding and inflammation. There are no home remedies for tartar. Only a dentist can remove this cement-like gunk. Flossing helps remove plaque between your teeth before it turns into tartar.
Flossing prevents tooth decay
Tooth decay occurs when the bacteria in plaque eats away at the tooth enamel and destroys it. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth because of the presence of bacteria in your mouth, and brushing alone cannot clean it entirely.
Flossing on a daily basis can help prevent tooth decay and cavities especially in places that a toothbrush can’t reach. If left untreated, cavities can cause more serious problems such as infection.
Flossing prevents gingivitis and other gum diseases
If tartar is not removed, it can lead to a condition called gingivitis. This inflammation around the tooth can turn into periodontitis, a serious infection that can damage the gum as well as the bones connecting the teeth.
Flossing reduces bad breath
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is not just an embarrassing social problem. It may be a sign of a serious oral health issue.
What causes bad breath?
- Bacteria from food
- Poor dental hygiene
Bacteria from food particles in your mouth can create a foul odor. Certain foods with a pungent smell (like garlic, onions, and spices) can also cause bad breath.
If you don’t brush and floss daily, food particles will leave plaque on your teeth. Your tongue and dentures can also trap bacteria that produce a bad smell.
Make flossing a regular part of your oral care routine
Proper flossing prevents plaque buildup by removing food particles that a toothbrush cannot reach. Here’s how you can keep those areas under the gum line and between your teeth fresh and clean:
- Pull a string of floss and wind each end around each middle finger
- Hold the floss between your thumb and index finger and slide it gently between your teeth in up and down strokes
- Gently move the floss around the base of each tooth to clean the gum line
- Floss from tooth to tooth with clean sections of the string
- Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time
- Floss before bedtime to keep those pearly whites strong and clean
For more tips and tricks on how to maintain an excellent oral health, check out our blogs!