When you don’t floss at least once a day, you are inviting gingivitis and cavities into your smile. This is because flossing allows you to remove dental plaque and keep it from building up between your teeth and around the gumline. Clinical Microbiology Reviews reveal that dental plaque contains more than 1,000 bacteria which can irritate your gums, making them susceptible to inflammation and bleeding. This process allows bacteria to thrive and brings gingivitis to the table.
Cavities also increase when you don’t floss. This happens when plaque destroys the enamel between your teeth, making way for cavities to form. Gingivitis ultimately leads to periodontal disease, where bacteria can enter your bloodstream and travel to other areas of the body, including your heart and lungs.
As you can see, complimenting your daily brushing habits with flossing can benefit your oral health, your smile, and your body. There are many methods of flossing. The most common are dental wax or floss, where you take out an 18″ length of floss and wrap a section around your index and middle fingers. Simply insert this section between the teeth, and slide up and down to remove food particles and oral debris (plaque). Other methods of flossing include water flossers, dental flossers, interdental brushes and even toothpicks.
Flossing once a day is sufficient, and we recommend doing so at bedtime to remove any leftover food and plaque along the gumline and between teeth.
Brushing, flossing, and maintaining regular dental cleanings will give you a smile you can be proud of. We invite you to call us if you have any oral health concerns and to schedule your next professional cleaning. Our Kootenai Family Dental team can be reached at 208-664-8283. Dr. Alexis LaRose and our team in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, are here for all your smile needs!