Happy National Flossing Day!
That headline might be a little misleading. National Flossing Day (yes, there really is such a thing) was actually on Thanksgiving. So, a little late, let’s talk about the importance of regular and thorough flossing and brushing to your oral health. And don’t forget about regular cleanings and examinations from Attleboro Family Dental Care in Attleboro, MA!
That Nasty Plaque
Plaque is a thin, sticky film that forms when bacteria in the mouth combine with saliva. Plaque collects on the gum line around the teeth which keeps the bacteria in close contact with your tooth enamel and your gums.
No one knows why we have plaque-forming bacteria in our mouths, but it’s natural and normal. In fact, everyone has whole colonies of bacteria in the mouth, in the gut, and even on the skin! We and the bacteria have adapted to have a mutually beneficial relationship… except for those plaque bacteria.
The bacteria in plaque feed off the sugars in our food and produce acids that eat away at tooth enamel and irritate the gums. That’s how cavities and gum disease happen. Fortunately, plaque is very soft and easily removed in its early stage. Regular and thorough brushing will remove plaque on and around the teeth easily. But your toothbrush does a poor job of reaching into the contacts between your teeth.
Enter Dental Floss
Dental floss is designed to go where your toothbrush can’t – between the teeth to loosen plaque so you can rinse it away before it starts to cause problems. There’s no good evidence to show that one kind of floss does a better job of loosening plaque than another, so choose whatever kind you’re most comfortable with. Waxed, unwaxed, and ribbon floss will all do the job if you use them properly.
Don’t skimp on the floss; ideally, you want a clean stretch of floss for each contact, and there are a lot of them. 18 inches of floss will do for most people. Keep the floss taut enough to allow you to gently scrape the sides of the teeth in the contact. Take it easy nearly the gum line as flossing too hard can irritate the tissue.
Once you’ve covered the territory, so to speak, rinse thoroughly! Swish that water around to make sure that all the loosened plaque is removed.
If you brush thoroughly twice a day and floss once, you should be able to keep your teeth in excellent shape. Some people are prone to developing more plaque, usually for genetic reasons, so those folks might have to step things up a bit if their dentist recommends. Plaque will begin to form again within 24 hours of being removed, so you’ve got to keep at it regularly.
Mouths Are Tricky Things To Clean
There are lots of nooks and crannies in the mouth. You teeth actually have tiny grooves in them that can be difficult to clean thoroughly, and there are parts of the mouth that are hard to reach for many people.
That’s why regular dental cleanings and examinations from Attleboro Family Dental Care in Attleboro, MA are so important to keeping a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile. Let’s face it – your dental hygienist has a much better view of the inside of your mouth than you can possibly get. A dental cleaning will remove every trace of plaque (and it’s older and much harder cousin, dental calculus or tartar) from your mouth. The polishing afterward gives plaques fewer places to cling onto.
The thorough examination by Dr. Hikmat Hannawi will detect any problems in their early stages so they can be easily dealt with.
To schedule a dental cleaning and examination for you or a family member, call Attleboro Family Dental Care today at 774-225-0618.