Drs. Ferrara and Upshaw are passionate about helping people maintain and improve their oral health. Despite their advisement, one of the most common challenges they encounter is convincing people to do more than only use a toothbrush.
Let our dentists be clear: you must floss. It is not an optional part of your oral health routine. Flossing may be the difference between a healthy smile and one damaged by decay and disease.
What Does Flossing Do?
Brushing your teeth is the cornerstone of good oral hygiene. The brush scrubs the majority of bacterial buildup, or plaque, from your teeth. However, there are some areas that are difficult to reach with the bristles of the brush. Specifically, the tiny gaps between one tooth and another are not cleaned effectively enough.
When performed correctly and gently, flossing removes plaque from the spaces between teeth, eliminating any calculus a toothbrush can’t reach. Brushing and flossing together better encourages a healthy smile.
Of course, a proper technique is required. The floss must wrap around the side of the tooth as if making a “C,” and a fresh, unused piece of string should be used in each space cleaned. Otherwise, enough bacteria may be left over to promote rapid plaque development.
Why Does Flossing Matter?
The reason flossing is this critical to a healthy smile is because of how fast and harmful bacterial buildup can be.
Plaque is the cause of tooth decay and gum disease. It both eats away at the outer layers of the tooth that bacteria have been left resting on and causes the inflammation and irritation of the gums. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar. Not only does tartar continue to destroy the tissues in the smile like plaque does, but this calculus is also impossible to remove without seeing your dentist.
Properly brushing and flossing twice a day breaks up the plaque on the teeth before it can cause these conditions. This hygiene routine, along with twice-yearly dental visits, stops decay and disease from happening to you.
Contact Us for General Dental Care
Ferrara Dental, PLLC, offers preventive dental services, including teaching patients how to best brush and floss. Dr. Leslie Ferrara and Dr. Maria Upshaw are passionate about making sure Tampa, Harbour Island, Davis Island, and Channelside have perfectly healthy smiles. For more information about habits to improve your oral health, call and schedule an appointment today!