Is Flossing Really as Important as Your California Dentist Says?
You probably hear it all the time: flossing is as important as brushing. Yet if you’re like many of the patients at California Dental Group, you may not take it as seriously as we suggest. Many people wonder: Is flossing really that important? Allow us to start by explaining exactly what flossing can do and then we’ll focus on the best and simplest way to ensure you’re flossing correctly.
Brushing is essential but it can’t do it all
One of the first things we often hear when patients say they don’t floss is that they’re brushing enough. If they’re brushing then they don’t need to floss too, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Brushing is very successful at removing food particles, getting rid of bacteria, and cleaning plaque from all tooth surfaces – with one big exception: between the teeth.
The simple fact is that your toothbrush can’t get between your teeth. That’s why everyone is much more susceptible to both gum disease and decay between their teeth than they are on the surface of their teeth.
Daily flossing is the best way to clean between your teeth
When you floss daily, you’re not only cleaning between your teeth but you’re also getting below the gum line. It cleans these spaces but it also prevents colonies of plaque from growing, getting stronger, and damaging your teeth, gums, and even your bones.
What exactly is plaque?
You probably hear about plaque frequently but have you ever thought about what it actually is? In short, it’s a sticky film that’s almost invisible. It is essential a living colony made up of a combination of saliva, bacteria, and food debris. It can produce toxins that create cavities that inflame your gums. When it’s not removed under your gumline, it hardens and turns into a calculus substance known as tartar – which further inflames your gums and can slowly destroy the bones under your teeth. This is the first stage in gum disease.
The proper procedure for flossing
Now that you know how important it is to floss, it’s time to cover how to floss. Here’s a step by step guide that will get you on the right track:
- Start with 12 – 16 inches of floss. Wrap it around your middle fingers while leaving about two inches of floss between your hands.
- Use your forefingers and thumbs to move the floss. Gently move it between your teeth using a sawing motion.
- Move the floss into the shape of the letter “C” around every tooth as well as under your gum line. Then gently move the floss up and down to clean the sides of each of your teeth.
- If you’re having issues using conventional floss, consider floss holders.
Flossing is one part of maintaining your healthy smile for life! Remember that regular dental cleanings and exams are important too. Contact California Dental Group today at (800) 407-0161 to set up your appointment.