When you have a piece of food wedged between your teeth, you (hopefully) reach for your floss to safely remove it. This is a time when you can be relieved to have floss on hand, but it should not be the only time you use it! If you want to effectively protect yourself against both tooth decay and gum disease, you should make flossing part of your daily oral hygiene routine. Those who do not fit flossing into their routine are more likely to have tartar accumulate between teeth, which can make them more vulnerable to problems that require restorative dentistry. Our St. Louis, MO dentist’s office can provide guidance on good daily habits when you come in for a routine dental exam!
Your gum line is vulnerable to infiltration from oral bacteria that gather in your mouth throughout the day. When bacteria start to gather on the roots of your teeth, issues with gingivitis can begin. When gingivitis becomes a concern, you can experience issues like sensitivity, tissue swelling and discoloration, chronic bad breath, and gum bleeding. Flossing is an important line of defense against this problem, as bacteria will build up between teeth and be difficult to remove with brushing alone. To ensure that your flossing habits protect your periodontal health, think about how you move the string between teeth. If you only pass it horizontally, and never work it gently over your gum tissues, you can allow bacteria at the base of teeth to gather and create trouble.
Tartar buildup can be prevented when you thoroughly clean your teeth, but deposits that do form will have to be removed during a professional teeth cleaning. If you are not flossing each day, you can leave yourself open to the formation of tartar in spaces where your teeth meet, as these areas are difficult to clean with a brush alone. Tartar formation makes the prevention of oral health issues like tooth decay and gum disease more difficult. If tartar deposits are visible, they can make your smile look less attractive and less healthy.
If you want to avoid problems with decay that demand dental fillings and dental crowns, make sure flossing is part of your daily routine. Your risk for cavities will lower when you take care to thoroughly clean your teeth each day. While brushing at least two times a day is important, flossing will be valuable for your efforts to stop bacteria and food debris buildup in harder to reach spaces.
Magnolia Family Dental is proud to help patients protect their teeth against the different oral health threats that they face. While in-office care is important, you should also make sure that you protect yourself by brushing and flossing on a daily basis! For more information on preventive dental care, call our St. Louis, MO dentist’s office at 317-822-4521.