Do you need to floss? Well, as dental professionals we will always tell you yes, of course, you need to floss! But to understand why you should floss, you will need to understand what is happening in your mouth first, which causes the need to floss.
When you eat, small pieces of food can get stuck in between teeth--some you can see and some you can’t. The food creates a plaque buildup, and then over time, tartar. Tartar is very hard and can cause pocketing around the gums, tooth decay, and even push teeth apart or loosen them. The floss will help remove the small food pieces from between the teeth before they can cause plaque, and remove any plaque before it can turn to tartar (which is very hard and difficult to remove).
You REALLY don’t want to floss still? Flossing is the best, most effective, and easiest way to get food particles from between teeth. There are even several types of floss, and finding one that works for you may change your mind. Flat floss, waxed floss, polytetrafluorethylene floss… super floss… there are so many types that you can choose from that may help you reach those tight spots without discomfort.
Yet, if you are going to still choose not to floss, there are other methods of cleaning between teeth that can be nearly as good if you keep your other oral hygiene up. For example, you can also use a plastic or wooden toothpick, or waterpik to get particles from between teeth. The important point is to not leave any food particles in your mouth in between snacks and meals. And you should also invest in mouth rinse!
For the best oral care, we recommend you also brush with a soft bristled bush at least twice a day and then use an antiseptic rinse such as Listerine, which can kill bacteria and help wash away any food bits. Then, follow that with a fluoride rinse to neutralize the pH, (the antiseptic rinse is effective, but also can damage the teeth due to its acidity, so the fluoride rinse afterward will give your teeth the additional protection they need. (If you are choosing not to floss, then use the brush-rinse-rinse system after you eat or drink anything).
Would you like to learn more about your dental care? Have flossing questions? Make your appointment today or call 480.818.9016 to schedule a personal consultation with your dentist and dental team at Parkview.