Growing up, your parents may have stressed how important brushing your teeth was. When you made your yearly trips to the dentist, they probably reinforced this practice, but also encouraged you to floss. You may not have been a fan of flossing and decided that as long as you brushed, your teeth would be clean, white and healthy.
As you’ve grown, you may have developed gum problems. Since you brush twice daily, you are unsure how this happened. Maybe you have bad dental genes? The answer may be far simpler: You aren’t flossing. This step should not be skipped when taking care of your pearly whites.
Basics of Flossing
The notion may seem silly when you think of it. How can pushing a small piece of twine between your teeth help keep gums healthy? When you eat and drink, you introduce particles into the mouth. Through chewing, you break these down for ingesting. However, some small pieces may remain. Proper brushing helps eliminate much of what is left behind, but it alone cannot get to everything. The bristles of the brush are small, but not enough to get in between the teeth. This is the spot the tiniest of deposits settles and makes a home in the tight place between teeth. It also eventually may come to rest on top of the gums here, ultimately causing issues below the teeth.
The Dangers of Plaque
You may have experienced the hygienist using that little scraper on the surface of your teeth during your regular visits. This tool is used to remove bacteria known as plaque. This substance is sticky, and if not controlled properly, it adheres itself to the surface of the teeth. Not only does it sit on top of the teeth, but it can also get in between them. If flossing is not a part of your regular home routine, this plaque continues to grow. When it remains on the surface, it eats away at the protective coating of the tooth. When this happens, it continues to move inside the tooth, creating painful cavities.
Consequences of Not Flossing
Ultimately, plaque that goes unchecked for too long can create easy access for bacteria to gain entry below the surface of the gums and teeth. When this happens, serious infections may result and manifest as painful sores called abscesses. These are an indicator that there may also be an infection deeper inside the gums that may have caused a deterioration of the roots.
Taking control of your oral hygiene is one way to stay healthy. Flossing is a step in your daily routine that should not be skipped. You can get help learning proper techniques by calling Dentist Apex, NC today.
Thank you to Alliance Dentistry for their insight into dental health and the importance of flossing.