Patients often ask our Surrey dentists why they need to floss if they brush thoroughly twice a day. Here’s why you should spend the time to make flossing an essential part of your at-home oral care routine.
You want your smile to be healthy and look its best. So, you attend regular dental checkups and cleanings, and make sure you brush twice a day. But is it really important to floss, or is it an extra you don’t really need to do? Our dentists explain why it’s important.
Take Time to Floss
Our dentists will tell you that brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day, and flossing once per day are essential elements to a great at-home oral hygiene routine.
We understand that some of our patients do an excellent job of brushing their teeth, and skip the flossing process because it’s often the end of the day when it’s time to do it. They’re tired, and just want to get to sleep. However, brushing alone is not enough to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
While your toothbrush eliminates plaque and bacteria from your teeth, flossing also performs a vital function. You’ll have difficulty reaching about ⅓ of your tooth’s surface with your toothbrush. Skip flossing and those hard-to-reach places just won’t get the clean they need to stay healthy.
When you floss, you remove plaque and bacteria from your gum line and the tight spaces between your teeth, where the bristles of your toothbrush don’t reach as effectively.
During the day, plaque forms and sticks to your teeth. If it’s not brushed away, it can harden into tartar and cause cavities, or make its way under your gum line, leading to periodontal disease.
Tartar is plaque that hasn’t been removed from your teeth. In fact, it takes as little as 36 hours for plaque to harden into tartar.
By the time plaque has reached this stage, it can no longer be removed with a toothbrush and floss. A dental professional will need to use special tools to remove the tartar during your regular hygiene cleaning appointment.
With daily flossing, you can prevent plaque from collecting in the tight spaces between your teeth. It won’t have a chance to harden into tartar. Plus, the less tartar your dental team has to scrape away, the better. You’ll also reduce your risk of developing cavities, tooth decay or gum disease.
Flossing each day is key to keeping your smile healthy, and it saves you time in the dental chair during your dental hygiene cleaning.