Do I really need to Floss If I Get Regular Cleanings?

FlossingYour smile is one of the first things people notice about you. Keeping it bright and attractive requires that you take care of your oral health by devoting attention to your teeth and gums. While visiting your dentist every six months and brushing your teeth twice a day are great steps in the right direction, there is yet another daily habit you need to launch right away: flossing.

Let’s begin by talking about what role flossing plays in your oral care regimen. Think of it as the special opps soldier who performs duties that the rest of the force, in this case your toothbrush, can’t. It is only dental floss that can travel into the spaces between your teeth and behind your gum line to root out the trapped food and plaque living in those hard-to-reach places. Plaque, once hardened, can only be removed via a professional cleaning. Did you know that each of your teeth has five surfaces and that dental floss is the only thing that reaches at least two of those areas?

Flossing does more than just remove food and sticky plaque bacteria. In fact, it can help prevent the gum disease that eventually leads to tooth loss in millions of Americans. In addition, flossing aids in protecting the integrity of the bones in your face, which can otherwise be vulnerable to the ravages of gum disease. By taking steps to maintain these facial bones, you can keep your teeth longer and preserve the beauty of your smile.

Another appealing aspect of flossing is that it doesn’t require a great deal of fancy equipment or knowledge. It can be purchased in flavored or non-flavored versions, and you can use a waxed type if your teeth are crowded. For people who have a difficult time manipulating a long strand of traditional floss, hand-held flossers are available at a very reasonable price.

You may have already been aware of at least some of the benefits of daily flossing, yet it just seems to slip your mind. In fact, you might find yourself wondering if your semi-annual cleaning by your hygienist doesn’t do pretty much the same thing. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Think of your visit to the hygienist as reinforcement for the good oral health procedures you are performing at home as well as a way for your dentist to pinpoint potential problems before they become major issues. If you have been vigilant about brushing and flossing properly between visits to the dentist, you will find your cleaning to be virtually painless. Better still, you will get a good deal of praise for the good job you’re doing in protecting your teeth, gums and smile. If you are lax, on the other hand, you might find yourself uncomfortable during the cleaning and required to visit the dentist more frequently.

At Seven Lakes Dental in Smokey Point, WA, we’re committed to helping you take control of your oral health. What’s more, we will be happy to teach you the proper techniques that will make flossing easy and comfortable. We’re here to answer any questions you might have or to recommend the products that would best fit your unique oral care needs. Finally, we’re excited to have the opportunity of partnering with you in making your smile as healthy and dazzling as possible.