Reasons to Floss
Every time you visit your dentist in Atlanta for a regularly scheduled check up, you can be sure that we’ll ask if you’ve been flossing. We hope that all of our patients are great flossers, but we know that many of our patients simply do not floss on a daily basis. Both your dentist in Atlanta and the American Dental Association recommend flossing at least once a day. Unlike a toothbrush, which only cleans the top and outer surfaces of the teeth and gums, floss is an interdental cleaner. This means that it's designed to clean those hard-to-reach spaces between the teeth as well as the gap between the base of the teeth and the gums.
These are places that a toothbrush will not be able to clean. Mouthwash is not a replacement for floss either since it can’t remove the stubborn tartar and bits of food that get stuck in these unreachable places. If this isn’t enough to convince you of the importance of flossing, here are some reasons why flossing is extremely important to your health.
Flossing and Brushing Are More Effective Together
A toothbrush works to physically remove plaque from the tooth’s outer surface. This is extremely helpful for reducing the sticky bacterial film that builds up on the tooth’s surface and causes cavities. However, a brush’s biggest drawback is that it can’t adequately clean between the teeth or under the gums. This is why floss is your toothbrush’s most important sidekick - it is able to remove plaque from the tight spaces between the teeth and under the gums. Sure, you can do the job with just one or the other, but to get the job done RIGHT, you’re going to need both a toothbrush and floss.
Floss Protects Your Gums
Notice how your teeth are situated in the gums and jaw. At the root of your teeth are the bones of the lower and upper jaws. The bones and roots of your teeth are covered by the soft, sensitive tissue of gums. Notice that there are many places where the gums and teeth meet. Each one of these places has the potential for tiny food particles to get stuck. Flossing can eliminate these food particles from getting lodged in between the gums over a long period of time. If a patient does not properly floss, these food particles will attract plaque, which hardens to form tartar over time. Tartar is a thick deposit that only your dentist in Atlanta can remove with a scraper. Tartar buildup can lead to gingivitis and then gum disease, which can rapidly decay teeth and even cause tooth loss. Don’t be a fool, use floss daily too!
Flossing Helps Prevent Other Diseases
We now know that flossing can save your mouth from the harmful effects of tartar and bacteria. However, extensive research and backing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown that the bacteria that flourish in unhealthy mouths may harm the rest of the body as well. Diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and respiratory illnesses, have been linked to a high amount of patients with poor oral health care, especially periodontal or gum disease. Flossing only takes a few minutes each day in addition to brushing, so take advantage of this small simple step that can have huge implications for your long-term health.
Your dentist in Atlanta looks forward to seeing how well you floss at your six-month regular checkup and dental exam. If you have any questions, suggestions or would like to make an appointment, feel free to call us at (404) 633-9663.