Why Flossing Is Important And How To Make It Easier

During each of your routine dental visits, your dentist may remind you to floss. Many people brush their teeth but avoid flossing because they find it time-consuming and cumbersome. Still, flossing is important. 

Here are a few reasons why you need to floss, along with some suggestions to help make flossing quicker and easier:

Your Toothbrush May Not Reach the Plaque Between Your Teeth

Your toothbrush probably cleans most of the the surfaces of your teeth efficiently. However, the brush bristles may not reach the spaces between your teeth, especially if your teeth are not gapped. 

Many people have teeth that are closely set. The toothbrush bristles may simply not fit into the interdental spaces. 

Nevertheless, just as plaque accumulates on the surfaces of the teeth that are easily accessed, it also builds up between the teeth. If not removed regularly, the plaque can cause tooth decay or harden into tartar. Additionally, odors from the plaque can cause bad breath. Flossing can help keep the interdental spaces clean.

Food Particles May Become Caught Between Your Teeth

As you eat, particles of food can become trapped in the tight spaces of your mouth, including the spaces between your teeth. These particles provide food for oral bacteria. 

As the oral bacteria metabolize the food, they excrete byproducts, which include acid. The acid dissolves the minerals that make up the tooth enamel, inciting decay. 

A toothbrush may not readily remove particles caught between the teeth, and objects, such as toothpicks, may damage the sensitive gum tissues. Flossing can help dislodge the particles safely.

Making Flossing Quicker and Easier

Using traditional dental floss still requires a fair amount of dexterity. Two hands are needed to guide and maneuver the floss. 

Nowadays, there are alternatives to traditional string floss that make flossing easier. Here a few of them:

  • Floss picks. Floss picks are plastic y-shaped devices with floss connected to each end of the upper portion of the Y. The device is small and can be used with one hand.
  • Oral irrigators. Oral irrigators help flush debris from between the teeth. The motorized units include a wand and a reservoir. The wand releases a concentrated stream of water, and the reservoir provides water to the wand. The water stream cleans the spaces between the teeth as the string floss would.

For more information about dental floss and why it is important, schedule a consultation with a dentist, like one from Trussville Dentistry, in your local area.