Every time you see an oral health professional, you are surely reminded to keep to a strict oral health regimen. This certainly includes twice-daily brushing and an oral rinse. But also comes the one that patients dread the most: flossing.
Maybe it’s the time, or any pain with flossing gums that have not been cared for, but people seem particularly averse to keeping to a strict flossing regimen. Today, your Newport Beach, CA dentist pleads with you to floss. It can save your teeth, and even jaw bone!
Why Should I Floss?
There are numerous benefits to routine flossing of teeth. Interdental cleaning, or the cleaning between the teeth, helps remove plaque from the surface of the teeth. While the reachable surfaces are cleanable with brushing, but no brush can reach every place in the mouth.
When plaque develops, bacterial growth begins to form on the site. If this is in a hard to reach area of the mouth, like between two molars, that growth can continue unimpeded. This will continue either until the teeth are cleaned or the tooth is lost due to decay.
At any rate, who wants their food to build up between their teeth? That’s gross!
It Can Get Worse
Because of the likelihood of the bacterial growth between the teeth, unflossed teeth are significantly more at risk of developing cavities than in individuals who floss. Because these cavities are also harder to identify, they can grow larger and deeper than outward facing ones.
This means that often, the tooth will be eaten away to the root. When the root is infected, most often a root canal is necessary. This involves what is called a pulpectomy; essentially, the dentist removes the fleshy portion of the inside of the tooth.
This is a fairly invasive procedure, especially in comparison to daily flossing. And it is certainly much cheaper than surgery in both the short and the long run! And as dentists, we want to maintain as much healthy natural tooth as possible, in most situations.
How Often Should I Floss?
The most important thing to remember when it comes to flossing is: do it. If it’s easier for you to floss in the morning, then you should do it. If it’s comforting to do right before bed, that’s also a perfect time. Whatever you need to do to make your oral health care a part of your routine, the better.
Now’s The Time
If you have any questions about how beneficial flossing is to the health of your smile, or to schedule your appointment, please give Dr. Hofkes at Balboa Dental Surgery a call at (949)630-0143. Or stop by our office here in Newport Beach, CA!