Why Your Dentist Wants You To Floss
Do you floss often enough? Most dentists will probably say no. Learn why you need to floss to keep your pearly whites in your mouth as long as possible.
“You don’t need to floss all of your teeth, just the ones you want to keep,” is a common mantra on dental office walls. But is this really true? Will skipping the dental floss cause premature loss of your teeth?
Your mouth is filled with bacteria. These bacteria are an important part of the digestive tract, but they can cause problems from your teeth. They fill in the holes between your teeth, where they feed on food particles left behind when you eat. As a result, they produce acid. This acid can break down your tooth enamel and eventually cause cavities. The bacteria and their byproducts can also cause sulfur compounds in your mouth. These are common causes of bad breath.
Dentists want you to floss to rid your mouth of some of these bacteria. Flossing reaches between the teeth to get the food, bacteria and plaque that your toothbrush cannot reach. It is impossible for you go fully clean your mouth with just a toothbrush, so flossing is vital to getting your mouth clean.
If that food, plaque, and bacteria stay in your mouth long enough, they will harden. This is called tartar, and your dentist is the only one who can remove tartar because it is stuck tight to your teeth. Eventually, the bacteria in the plaque and tartar produce enough waste that they harm the gums, causing gingivitis. If your gingivitis is not treated, you will eventually end up with periodontal disease and the gums and bones that support the teeth will be damaged, which can lead to a loss of teeth. So, flossing is not just something your dental health professional would like you to do. It is vital to keeping your teeth where they belong – in your mouth.
How can you tell if you are flossing enough? If you are not flossing, then you need to start. If you are flossing regularly, but are still struggling with bad breath, you may need to increase the number of times you floss. If you find that your gums are tender or bleed when you floss, keep doing it. This is because they are getting inflamed because of all of the junk you have exposed them to. Getting rid of that junk will cause the pain and swelling to go down.
So the next time you visit dentists and hear the flossing lecture, listen a little more closely. This is serious business, and you need to take his recommendations to heart. Your teeth and gums will thank you when you start to take better care of them, and you will be glad when you can keep your natural teeth well into your golden years.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
When seeking a dentist Baltimore residents want someone who is a knowledgeable professional. For more information visit this link: http://www.reedyfamilydentistry.com/.