When thinking of your oral hygiene routine, brushing your teeth is probably top of the list. Of course, brushing your teeth is essential to your oral health. However, brushing alone is not enough to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Flossing can help bring your oral hygiene to the next level. In fact, flossing is just as vital as brushing your teeth.
No matter how well you brush your teeth, you cannot remove all the plaque. Your toothbrush cannot reach in between your teeth or below your gum line. This is why you need to floss daily. Flossing allows you to remove plaque from many hard-to-reach places. In addition, flossing can help prevent many other negative oral issues.
Much like brushing your teeth, flossing has the same goal—removing plaque. Plaque is a type of bacteria that naturally resides in your mouth. It sticks to every surface of your teeth and soft tissues. If you don’t remove plaque, it can cause many problems, including bad breath. The more “bad” bacteria you have in your mouth, the worse your breath will smell.
Poor oral hygiene is one of the leading causes of bad breath. The plaque will get stuck between your teeth and gums, causing a foul odor. Flossing can help reduce plaque buildup and eliminate bad breath.
Gum disease (or periodontal disease) is an infection of the gums. Initially, you will notice redness or inflammation in the gums. Additionally, the gums can become swollen or irritated. This is called gingivitis. Over time, gum disease can advance to more serious symptoms. You can develop a more severe infection that may cause the gums to recede. When this happens, your teeth can loosen or fall out. In addition, you can experience bone loss in the jaw.
Plaque buildup is usually the cause of most cases of gum disease. Without proper removal, the plaque will continue to grow on the surfaces of your teeth and underneath your gum line. After some time, the plaque can solidify into tartar. This can further irritate the gums and make it more difficult to clean your teeth. Once plaque calcifies into tartar, you need a dental professional to remove it.
One way to reduce your chances of developing gum disease is to floss daily. It is one of the only ways for you to reach between your teeth and gums.
Not only does plaque cause your gums to recede, but it can also destroy your enamel. The enamel is the outermost layer of your teeth that protects the sensitive inner parts of your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth creates an acid when it feeds on leftover food particles. Unfortunately, this acid erodes the enamel, causing it to weaken. With the enamel weakened, it is possible to develop tooth decay.
Tooth decay begins as a small cavity, but it can grow into an infection or missing teeth. It is easy to develop a cavity between your teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach. This is why it is important to floss.
You can avoid many dental issues if you follow your dentist’s flossing recommendations.