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While the importance of brushing your teeth has been well explored and emphasized, flossing still gets thrown to the side. In fact, many people view flossing as a sort of “bonus” activity that’s done on top of regular brushing. We’re here today to convince you that flossing, alongside brushing, should be thought of as a key part of a healthy oral healthcare routine.
One of the main reasons why we brush our teeth is to remove plaque. Plaque is made up of layers of bacteria, which colonize tooth surfaces, looking for a tasty snack. Luckily, dental plaque is soft and easy to remove with a regular toothbrush. However, plaque can also form and accumulate in the small spaces between teeth, spaces where a toothbrush just can’t reach. If left unremoved, plaque will eventually harden into a substance called tartar, which glues onto teeth and can’t be removed with brushing. Only a dental hygienist will be able to remove tartar from teeth. Therefore, the first reason why flossing is so important is to get rid of plaque hiding between your teeth and prevent the buildup of tartar!
As a big surprise to nobody, bad breath is also caused by mouth bacteria. Namely, bacteria that have settled in your mouth due to the abundance of food in the warm and dark environment. Normally, brushing your teeth will help remove any leftover food debris from your mouth and prevent bacteria from getting at it. Again, however, the problem lies in those hard to reach places that a toothbrush can’t get to. Here, any bits of food will send bacteria into a feeding frenzy, which releases products that cause characteristic bad breath. By flossing and removing all the food bits from your mouth, you’re preventing the growth of bacteria that would otherwise cause bad breath!
Dental plaque affects more than just your teeth and breath. Bacteria are also able to colonize and infect your gum line, leading to gingivitis and, in more serious cases, periodontal or gum disease. This can affect the roots of teeth, which becomes more difficult to treat and could even lead to tooth decay or tooth loss. What’s the best way to remove bacteria from your gum line? You guessed it: flossing! When flossing, ensure the floss reaches right down to the gum line to be the most effective.
Flossing is just as important as brushing when it comes to maintaining a healthy mouth! Clean teeth and healthy gums are things that everyone can smile about. Centennial Smiles is always happy to take on new clients. Call us at (587) 317‑7959 today!