September 23, 2016
You’re puzzled. You ordered your beer, and the bartender clearly heard what you said, but now you’re looking at a pint glass that is only 60% filled. Are they trying to test to see if you’re an optimist or a pessimist? Is this some sort of special batch of beer that can only be consumed in small portions? You gently tap the bar and say, “Hey, I don’t think you’re quite finished here.” This is what it’s like if you don’t floss whenever you brush. Dr. Lindsey, a dentist in Fort Collins, wants you to know why flossing is essential.
Why We Floss
You brush your teeth religiously every night. You like the feeling of running your tongue across them and hearing that sound that indicates that they are literally squeaky clean. You get to wake up without the typical taste of morning on your breath. Unfortunately, if you aren’t consistently flossing, you are only doing part of the job. Brushing is intended to break up the plaque that can buildup on your teeth from the food you eat. As sound as this method is, it is limited. The bristles on the brush can only reach the surfaces of the teeth that face outward and inward. Your brush does next to nothing for the spaces in between your teeth, which is where a majority of plaque and bacteria can gather. This is because as we chew, this matter gets compacted in between our teeth. Plaque is relatively widely distributed on the surfaces of teeth, but can be more concentrated between them. Only flossing can reach these areas and break up this impacted plaque. This will ensure that teeth are clean from all angles and safe from tooth decay or gum disease.
It doesn’t matter if you brush then floss, or the other way around. It only matters that you always do both. There are a variety of flosses available today, and we can offer them to you at our office. That way we can help you pick out floss that fit your particular teeth. Some basic tips for flossing:
- Use about 12-18 inches of floss. Wrap the ends around your fingers so you can create enough tension to move it between your teeth.
- Floss both sides of every tooth. This means even behind your back teeth.
- Be gentle, it shouldn’t require too much force to put the floss between your teeth.
- Be sure to slightly dip below the gum line when flossing. This is an area most people miss when cleaning their teeth, and is the prime cause of gum disease.
Come See Us!
In addition to brushing and flossing, you should also visit us at least twice a year for regular check-ups. While brushing and flossing are the best things you can do for your teeth, they simply aren’t able to reach every tiny surface on your teeth. A professional cleaning is the last piece of the puzzle that is your long lasting oral health. If you have any questions about flossing or anything else to do with dental care, please call us today.
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