Debris from food can remain stuck between the teeth, often without us even realizing it, which can create a breeding ground for bacteria that can eat away at the enamel and lead to tooth decay and eventual tooth loss.
From childhood, we all learn that we are required to brush our teeth at least twice a day – every morning and every night. Many people will even brush more often than this, like after every meal, just to be safe and to get that clean mouth feeling. However, dentists will tell us that brushing alone is not enough to maintain clean and healthy teeth and gums.
Those adverts for toothpaste that show rows of bright white teeth all in a straight row are not representative of the average person, who will have gaps between their teeth. Toothbrushes are not great at being able to clean between the teeth, which is why many of us need to listen to our dentists and use another cleaning method alongside brushing.
Though many people will opt for toothpicks, interdental brushes or water picks to clean food from between the teeth between brushing, dentists will usually say that this is insufficient. Brushing and flossing is the standard recommendation for many a dentist, due to the fact that dental floss is capable of reaching into the gum pockets where food can collect out of easy reach of a toothbrush.
It does not have to be a long process as it is only necessary to complete a few quick strokes of the floss between the teeth, which should not take more than a couple of minutes before brushing your teeth.
Dental floss is versatile in many ways, such as being available in one long reel allowing you to use as much as is comfortable, however, it is also available in different flavors and as part of a pick that makes it easier to reach the back teeth. It is also possible to get waxed or unwaxed as well as flossing ribbons, which are more like ribbons than string in order to work in a larger surface area in one go. It is also readily available from a number of different retailers, from pharmacies to supermarkets.
On the basis that you eat and drink every day, this means that the opportunity for bacteria to grow in your mouth can occur every day. In order to prevent this from growing into a problem that requires more significant work to rectify it, the need to brush your teeth daily is not only a requirement, but also to floss on a daily basis too.
If you wear braces, then it is particularly important to floss daily to ensure that food is removed from the wires, as they are more likely to cause food to get trapped.
When you are doing it properly, then flossing is an effective dental cleaning process that must be part of your daily routine.