06 Oct Is flossing really that important?
You brush twice a day and visit the dentist every six months. You’ve been curtailing sweet treat and junk food consumption, and have limited the number of sodas you enjoy to special occasions. So is flossing really that important to your dental health? The short answer is yes … absolutely.
When done correctly, flossing is beneficial for invigorating healthy gum tissue. Flossing in between all teeth will remove food particles that your toothbrush did not reach. This is important to help keep plaque build-up to a minimum.
Everyone has a certain amount of bacteria in their mouth. Many of the foods we eat and beverages we drink contain sugar or carbohydrates that cling to bacteria on teeth. Daily brushing and flossing are needed to remove as much bacteria as possible. What is not removed will harden forming plaque on teeth.
Plaque starts out as a sticky substance; once it hardens it is no longer removable with your toothbrush or dental floss. Plaque buildup can lead to dental decay and/or gum disease. It is easy to see why flossing and brushing are so important to your dental health.
Dental Decay – Bacteria can damage enamel, the protective covering of a tooth; when the enamel is breached, a cavity can form.
Gum Disease – The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. Symptoms can include bleeding or swollen gums; chronic bad breath; receding gum tissue. The more serious gum disease condition is periodontitis – teeth appear to be pulling away from gums or may even feel loose … a visit with the dentist is needed right away.
Advanced gum disease can impact more than just your gums … the bones that hold your teeth in place can also be affected. Tooth loss can occur without immediate and proper care. That might include root planing and scaling where the dentist will remove plaque that has formed below the gum line.
Dental floss comes in many varieties … waxed, plain, flavored, floss tape, or floss picks. Your dentist can demonstrate the correct way to use floss for maximum benefit.
In addition to flossing every day, you should brush your teeth at least twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste. Visit the dentist every six months for a cleaning, polishing, and dental exam. Some patients may require more frequent dental visits to maintain optimum dental health.
If it’s time to schedule your next dental exam and cleaining, contact the office of Dr. Lori Logan at 281-256-6866.