Every sixth months, you visit the dentist for your scheduled dental cleaning. Every six months, your dentist or dental hygienist tells you that you should floss. And every six months you completely ignore this advice. But why?
The Importance of Flossing
- Supplement Brushing: Just brushing twice a day is not enough to remove plaque from your teeth. In fact, flossing does about 40% of the work. Each of your teeth has five separate surfaces. So if you don’t floss, you are leaving at least two of these surfaces unclean.
- Gum Disease: Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, is caused by an accumulation of plaque around gums and between the teeth. Flossing is the only way to remove this plaque.
- Prevent Bad Breath: Halitosis, or chronic bad breath, is caused by the metabolism of the plaque in your mouth. As we have mentioned already, flossing is one of the only ways to remove the plaque in between your teeth.
- Tartar Buildup: Tartar is plaque that has become hard from saliva calcification. While flossing cannot actually remove tarter, it can slow down the accumulation of tartar.
Tips for more Efficient Flossing
- Flossing Technique: Using a 15-18 inch piece of floss, slide it up and down in between your teeth, wrapping it around each tooth in a “C” shape.
- Blood is Okay: Bleeding can be an indication that your gums are inflamed from an overabundance of plaque. If this is the case, flossing is a must and a little blood is okay. Bleeding a few days after flossing, however, could be a sign of periodontal disease.
- Floss Holder: Using a floss holder can help make the process a lot easier on you.
If you have any questions about Flossing and Plaque Buildup, or wish to schedule an appointment, please contact Leikin & Baylin Dental Care of Catonsville, Maryland by calling 410-747-1115 or visit CatonsvilleDentalCare.com.
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