It isn’t a crazy notion to assume that most people don’t floss their teeth even if the dentist preaches oral health with every visit. While brushing your teeth once in the morning, after every meal and snack, and at bedtime is ideal, flossing regularly is the best way to keep your mouth as clean as possible. Your mouth contains bacteria that can turn into some pretty nasty stuff if you don’t keep your mouth clean.
- Bacteria turns into plaque which is the waxy material that discolors your teeth. If plaque is left unchecked, it can start to cause tooth decay.
- If these bacteria are still left to colonize on your teeth it can cause an infection and possibly disease.
- Gum infection known as gingivitis will occur and eventually will lead to gum disease known as periodontitis, which involves loss of the bone levels around the teeth. Periodontitis can eventually cause tooth loss, requiring several trips to the dentist where you may need cosmetic options to fix your smile.
For these reasons alone you should want to floss your teeth every time you brush. Flossing gets into the places that brushing can’t and keeps old food and drink from sitting on your gums and teeth that causes bacteria to grow. Also, as an added bonus, if you floss every time you brush, you will end up with fresher breath.
A lot of people say that they don’t feel any different when they floss, so they don’t understand why they have to do it, and that just brushing is good enough for a healthy mouth. A gum infection is usually painless and will start at the spots where old food is left and where bacteria is left to grow and turn into an infection.
Without flossing, you won’t even notice you have an infection until you brush your teeth and feel a bit tender around the gum line or have a small bit of bleeding. Many people believe the myth that slight bleeding of the gums in normal; however, your gums are bleeding because they are inflamed from not flossing.
The infection in your mouth may spread and actually create small pus pockets. They are small and white and usually, even with the infection spreading, your mouth will remain pain free. If you do not take care of your teeth and only brush once in awhile, you won’t know that you have gum disease until it is far too late, and your mouth is in tremendous pain. Once you have gum disease, your teeth most likely cannot be healthy again, and have the likelihood of falling out.
Luckily, brushing at a minimum of 3 times a day and flossing can ensure that none of this will happen to you. There are even special techniques that people with retainers or braces can use to floss, so there is no excuse for anyone. Talk to your dentist about how to keep your mouth healthy and clean so you can keep on smiling!