A question that everyone in the world would like the answer to: Do I really need to floss? The answer…. drum roll please….. Yes, you really do need to floss!
If you have ever heard the saying “floss the teeth you want to keep,” this is because it is true! Floss reaches surfaces of the teeth that a regular toothbrush simply cannot reach interproximally. We simply cannot wedge a toothbrush in between our teeth and it effectively cleans those areas, which is why we have floss! By either refraining from flossing altogether or only flossing 1-2 times a week, this enables bad bacteria to sit in-between the surfaces of the teeth and accumulate over time, which can lead to decay (cavities). Additionally, if the bacteria stays in-between the teeth long enough gum irritation or gum disease can occur, which if not treated can lead to potential tooth loss. The better you are at flossing daily, the more likely you are to prevent any cavities or long-term tooth loss from occurring.
Our friend and esteemed Richmond, VA Dentist Dr. Brent Rusnak states that many patients think flossing can seem like a chore at first, but just think of it as a new self-care practice! Many individuals perform skin routines to prevent acne, wrinkles, etc. and now flossing will be your new self-care practice to prevent cavities and gum disease. The long-term goal of flossing is to have you effectively flossing in-between the teeth at least once daily, but we all have to start from somewhere. First and foremost, try a method that works for you! If this means using traditional floss and making C-shapes hugging each side of the tooth, great! If not, try getting floss picks and sticking them all over and you can floss at work, in the car, or before bedtime. Once you find a method of floss that works for you, stick to it for 4 days straight and continue one each week adding a day until you eventually reach 7 days a week and you’ll be on your way to getting some clean teeth!
If you have any questions about floss or the proper technique of flossing, please contact us at Carlyle Dental! We have an excellent team of dentists and dental hygienists who would be happy to provide a demonstration at your next dental visit with us. Please let us know any way that we can help you today!