Isn't thorough teeth brushing good enough? Not quite! Here's why flossing is important for a healthy smile.
Patients often ask our North Vancouver dentists why they should bother to floss – and here are some of our thoughts.
At-Home Oral Hygiene
A strong at-home oral hygiene routine starts with thoroughly brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, and flossing once a day.
Some of ourNorth Vancouver patients who do a fabulous job brushing their teeth tell us they skip flossing altogether in the belief that brushing is sufficient for keeping their smile bright and healthy.
But don't be fooled!
Approximately 1/3 of the surface of each tooth is difficult to reach with a toothbrush. It's between the teeth.
That means if you skip flossing, those hard-to-reach places aren't getting the cleaning that they need.
Flossing is the best way to remove plaque and bacteria from the tight spaces between your teeth and at your gum line where your toothbrush just can't reach.
Preventing Plaque Build Up
Over the course of the day, a sticky film of bacteria called plaque builds up on your teeth. Plaque coats your teeth and can lead to cavities, or even get under your gum line, possibly leading to periodontal disease (gum disease).
Ensuring You Don't Develop Tartar
If plaque isn't removed from your teeth, it can quickly harden and become tartar. Plaque can become tartar in as little as 36 hours!
When tartar develops, it has to be scraped away from your teeth by a dental professional.
Flossing every day removes food debris to help prevent plaque from developing in the tight spaces between your teeth and hardening into tartar. That means less scraping the next time you visit your dental office for a cleaning, and less chance of developing tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.
To keep your smile healthy, take a few minutes to floss every day.