If you brush your teeth thoroughly you may be wondering why you should bother flossing? Fact is, brushing alone may not protect you from periodontal (gum) disease! Here's why...
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy requires the combination of regular visits to your dentist for cleanings and checkups, and a good at-home oral hygiene routine.
A strong oral hygiene routine means brushing your teeth thoroughly twice a day, as well as flossing daily.
Nonetheless, it's not unusual for patients who do a fabulous job brushing their teeth to believe that brushing is sufficient for keeping their teeth and gums at their best. These otherwise diligent people may floss infrequently, or even skip flossing altogether!
About 1/3 of your tooth's surface is difficult to reach with a toothbrush. Which means that, if you skip flossing your teeth just aren't as clean as you may believe.
Those difficult to reach areas are where flossing comes in. Flossing helps you to remove the plaque and bacteria that your toothbrush just can't reach.
There's a good chance that you already know that plaque is the leading cause of gum disease, but do you know what plaque is?
Plaque is the invisible film of bacteria that gradually develops on your teeth over the course of the day.
When plaque hardens it becomes tartar, and tartar needs to be removed by a dental professional. It can take as little as 36 hours for plaque to become tartar.
By flossing just once a day, you help to prevent plaque from hardening into tartar. Which means less scraping the next time you visit your dental office for a cleaning!