Tooth pain is one of those things that most people have to deal with at some point in their lives. These painful sensations are the body's ways of alerting someone that something is going wrong in their mouth.Tooth pain can be alleviated with a variety of over-the-counter products, and there are myriad home remedies that…
General Dentistry: The Importance of Daily Flossing
General dentistry focuses on preventive treatments. Any general dentist will tell you that brushing and flossing are the two most important things that you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Brush twice and floss once each day, and you will rarely find yourself dealing with issues like tooth decay.
Many people do the brushing but view the flossing part as optional. That only gives their teeth and gums partial protection, since plaque and bacteria can still build up in the spaces between teeth. Dental floss is needed to keep these areas clean.
General dentistry 101: Why flossing daily is important
Oral bacteria are responsible for most of the oral issues that dentists deal with. These microorganisms convert the sugars in food particles left in the mouth after meals and beverages into plaque and acids that eat away at teeth. Plaque is a sticky, clear film that spreads over the surfaces of the teeth.
Plaque calcifies and turns into tartar when left on teeth for a few days. Tartar is calcified plaque and is just as damaging to teeth.
Fortunately, plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing, which is why dentists often stress the importance of doing those things. A toothbrush removes plaque from teeth surfaces, but its bristles cannot reach interdental spaces. Dental floss is thin enough to get into these spaces and remove plaque.
When a person has good brushing habits but fails to floss daily, most of their teeth surfaces will be protected from decay, but the spaces between their teeth will remain vulnerable due to the plaque buildup there. Decay will form at those areas and expand inward.
It is like trying to protect a piece of wood from the elements by painting its top, bottom, and sides with varnish, while leaving the ends unvarnished. It will still rot over time due to the unfinished ends. Other general dentistry tips for keeping teeth healthy include the following.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash: Mouthwash helps dissolve plaque in places that brushing and flossing miss; it reduces the bacterial population in the mouth and can be used to infuse teeth with essential minerals like fluoride
- Limit sugar consumption: Oral bacteria convert sugars into plaque and acids that eat away at teeth, so avoid sugary drinks and snacks when possible; drink plenty of water to wash away any sugars left in the mouth after meals
- Consume teeth-friendly foods: Teeth need minerals like calcium and phosphorus to remain strong and healthy; green leafy vegetables like kale and dairy products like cheese are great for teeth
- Get biannual dental checkups: Regularly visiting a dental office allows the dentist to remove tartar deposits before they can damage teeth; it also gives the dentist a chance to spot developing issues
Take control of your oral health
Brushing and flossing go a long way when it comes to keeping teeth healthy, and so do regular dental checkups. Give us a call or stop by our Lincroft clinic to set up an appointment with our dentist.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: General Dentistry Services in Lincroft, NJ.
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