Of all of the recommended steps in a patient’s oral hygiene routine, flossing is the most likely to be skipped over. This is unfortunate, because flossing your teeth, as recommended by your dentist, can make a huge difference in the overall appearance and health of your smile
So what does flossing do for you? Our Elmhurst dentists are here to explain…
When you floss between your teeth, and along your gum line, you are able to physically dislodge plaque from your enamel and gum tissues. Brushing is another way that you remove oral plaque. Brushing and flossing are complementary—you floss to reach the plaque and bacteria that you may otherwise miss by brushing alone.
Timely plaque removal helps you avoid dental cavities as well as gum disease. If you don’t get rid of plaque soon after it accumulates, it will actually calcify on your teeth. You may have heard the term “tartar” before—tartar is calcified plaque. Once the tartar has attached to your enamel, the plaque will go to work multiplying, and consequently wearing away your dental enamel.
The general recommendation from the American Dental Association is that adult patients floss at least once a day. Flossing at night, before brushing your teeth at the end of the day, will give your mouth a clean slate before your fall asleep. Your dentist may have more specific recommendations for you—these will depend on your personal oral health needs.
Once you get into the habit of flossing, you’ll be amazed at how much better your mouth looks and feels. As always, you can call our Elmhurst dentist office if you have additional questions about your oral hygiene routine, or if you want to schedule a consultation. We can help you optimize your at-home oral hygiene routine so that you can achieve and maintain a healthy smile!