When visiting the dentist, we’ve all been asked how often we floss our teeth. The honest answer for many patients is usually “Not as much as I should.” We all know flossing isn’t always a simple task, but flossing is truly beneficial to the health of our teeth and is even necessary to thoroughly clean our teeth. Simply put, flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth, and should be done every day as part of your daily dental hygiene routine.
Now you may be thinking, “I brush multiple times a day. Isn’t that enough?” An easy answer is no. Flossing plays a major role in protecting teeth from cavities and maintaining healthy gums. At West Village Dental, we know why you should floss, and we encourage every patient to do so. We care about our patients and the health of their teeth, so let us fill you in on the importance of flossing and why it should never be avoided.
What Your Toothbrush Misses
While your toothbrush works to remove plaque, bacteria, and food debris from the surface of your teeth, it’s not able to reach in between the gaps of your teeth. When bacteria and plaque remain in those gaps, the plaque hardens into tartar which can lead to gingivitis and gum disease. This is what makes flossing so important. For a thorough clean, you must brush and floss to remove all bacteria, plaque, and food debris from your teeth and gums.
Most patients avoid flossing because it’s not always a quick and simple task. Additionally, dental floss can cause some pain, as it can irritate gums and even make them bleed. Fortunately, there are alternatives to using dental floss that are proven to be just as effective as flossing, if not more. Take a look below to see how you can make flossing easier:
- Floss Threader: For patients with braces and other orthodontic appliances, floss threaders allow you to thread floss through wires and retainers to clean those hard-to-reach areas.
- Proxy Brush: Also great for braces, proxy brushes are shaped like Christmas trees and can be used to brush in between brackets. They’re even effective for patients without braces, as you use them to brush the gaps between your teeth.
- Water Flosser: The best alternative to flossing, a water flosser uses a pressurized stream of water to flush out plaque and food debris from the spaces between your teeth. With water flossers, you can choose the pressure level and water temperature to your preference.
Now that you’ve learned the importance of flossing and how to make it a more simple task, you should implement it into your daily dental hygiene routine. To further protect your smile from tooth decay and gum disease, we recommend every patient visits Dr. Chris Mei at West Village Dental for professional cleanings. Here, Dr. Chris Mei will check your teeth for cavities and other problems, clean your teeth, and give you more information about caring for your teeth.
Contact West Village Dental today to schedule an appointment and find out more about our services. You can also call us at 313.563.4466.