Brushing your teeth is very important to reducing plaque and keeping your smile healthy. However, brushing alone is not enough to optimize your oral health. The combination of brushing and flossing allows you to clear plaque from as many spots in your mouth as possible. Here are some reasons that it is important to floss as often as your dentist recommends (for most people this means flossing at least once a day).
Make sure to floss because:
· Brushing is most effective at clearing plaque from the flat surfaces of your teeth and gums. You need to use floss in order to scrape plaque from between your teeth as well as those tight spaces behind your back teeth. Floss also allows you to tease plaque out of the crevices where your teeth meet your gum tissue.
· If you just leave plaque to sit undisturbed in your mouth it will calcify on your enamel. Calcified plaque is called tartar or calculus. Once plaque has become tartar/calculus it is very difficult for the patient to remove it by his or her self. This means that hardened, bacteria-filled plaque sits on your teeth indefinitely, weakening the strength of your dental enamel. As you would imagine, this leads to cavities and structural dental damage over time.
· Flossing stimulates blood flow to your gum tissue. This helps to keep your oral tissue strong and healthy, which is vital to maintaining strong teeth and jawbone tissue.
Our dentist can give you recommendations on how often you should be flossing. For most adults it is appropriate to floss once a day at night. However, patients who are prone to dental infection or battling periodontal disease may need to adopt a different schedule.
Contact our Elmhurst dentist office when you are ready to speak to a member of our friendly dental team.