Patients who brush their teeth twice a day are often surprised to find that they can do more to fight tooth decay or cavities. Despite your best efforts, if brushing your teeth is all you do, you leave your teeth vulnerable to bacteria and debris that can and will cause permanent damage to your teeth. For a complete line of defense for your teeth, you must include flossing as part of your daily routine.
What Does Flossing Do?
Flossing helps you get to the food particles and plaque in the spaces between your teeth, where your toothbrush cannot reach. The longer the particles stay in your mouth, the more damage they can do to your teeth, leading to gum disease, cavities, and tartar.
How Often Should You Floss?
Most dentists recommend that you floss once a day. The time of day is not important to the outcome; you just need to devote enough time to the task to do a thorough job.
How Should You Floss?
Finding the “right touch” can be difficult when learning how to floss, especially for children. During your teeth cleaning, you should ask your hygienist for tips. In general, you want to apply enough pressure to remove the food particles, but not so much that you damage the tooth or harm your gums. Practice over a period of a couple of weeks will help you find the right pressure.
Are There Other Options?
Traditional waxed floss is not the right choice for every patient. Some people prefer to use a dental pick to reach between teeth without the sawing action of floss. Others choose a water pick or other flossing tools to hit hard to reach areas of the mouth.
One common misconception is that using mouthwash is just as effective as flossing. Flossing is a mechanical action that physically scrapes the plaque and food particles from your mouth – there is no way to replicate that action with mouthwash. Mouthwash does loosen plaque and help in the cleaning process, but it should never be used as a flossing substitute.
A sparkling white smile not only improves your self-esteem, but has real implications for your overall health. Reveal Dental provides comprehensive and expert dental care for patients of all ages. Schedule your teeth cleaning appointment in Cedar Park today.