While it may be something you routinely forget to do, it’s not something you will want to make a habit of. Forgetting to floss your teeth can have dire consequences if you aren’t careful. Many people assume flossing is unnecessary if they already spend the requisite time brushing their teeth. That’s simply not true which is why the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends everyone floss a minimum of once per day.
Brushing your teeth is required but it will only clean the surfaces of your mouth that it can reach. You won’t be able to clean some of the surfaces of your teeth because it simply cannot reach them. This includes the gap between each tooth and even the area along your gum lines in a lot of cases. These gaps are where you will find a lot of food particles getting stuck. You will find these hard-to-reach places growing bacteria and more. That is generally why those that don’t floss develop cavities, have bad breath and have tartar buildup.
The ADA recommends flossing a minimum of once per day, as mentioned above. You want to remain as consistent as possible with your flossing because any plaque that isn’t removed is going to end up hardening and forming into tartar. No matter if you are someone who wants to floss before or after you brush, it being necessary is something that all professionals can agree on (dentist in Fleet).
However, flossing to floss isn’t enough. You need to be doing it the right way if you want to experience the benefits of flossing. Many people, unfortunately, floss improperly. To do it right, you need to curve the floss around each tooth and move it down and up to get rid of the excess plaque. Here are a few of the steps you need to follow when you are looking to floss properly.
- Use around 18 inches of dental floss. From there, you should be wrapping a lot of it around your finger and using the same finger on the opposite hand with a couple of inches in between.
- You should then hold the floss firmly with those fingers and use your thumbs to guide it between your teeth. From there, you should be rubbing down and up to ensure you get the entire surface of your teeth. Be attentive to not snap the floss down and injure your gums. This could cause your gums to bleed.
- As soon as the floss reaches your gum line, you should be curving it into a “C” shape to get the front and back surfaces of your teeth. This includes the tooth situated in the back of your mouth which a lot of people forget.
- When doing the back and forth motion, be sure to hold it tight against the tooth. Gently rub back and forth and move it away from your gums as you do so. Continue to repeat for every tooth in your mouth.
Plaque and Tartar
While forgetting to floss for a couple of days or a week won’t kill you, it will cause you to deal with plaque and tartar formation that would be best avoided.
Assuming you follow the guidelines and brush your teeth twice per day as recommended and you forget to floss, you will be cleaning most of the surface area of your teeth, but not all of it.
Your teeth have five distinct areas on their surface that need to be cleaned. This includes the front, back, top, and sides. While your toothbrush is capable of cleaning most of these, it is still going to lack in effectively cleaning the sides. This can cause these areas to generate plaque buildup that you have to get rid of.
Plaque is a very sticky film that gets on the surface of your teeth. It can be made up of bacteria and residue from foods. It is something that clings to the surface of your teeth. Plaque formation can cause bad breath, but it can also welcome bacteria. It is also likely to damage your tooth’s enamel because it is very acidic. This is why plaque formation is so important to keep away because it can lead to cavities.
To make things even worse, when you allow plaque to fester for too long, it can end up turning into tartar formation. This can cause even more bacteria to get trapped underneath the gum line or in between teeth. This will not only make it increasingly difficult to brush, floss, and clean your teeth properly, but it cannot be removed with at-home tools. You will need to get a dentist or hygienist to remove it using a special scraping tool.