picture of a woman
mother and daughters
father and daughter

Why Should I Floss? - Why Brushing Isn’t Enough

Having healthy teeth is important for your general health. It is essential that you maintain good oral hygiene to avoid getting bad breath and dental diseases such as gum disease. In most cases, you might think that brushing is all it takes to have healthy teeth, but that is not the case.

You need to floss as much as you brush your teeth. While brushing is essential for cleaning your teeth, it does not remove the debris or plaque formed between the teeth. When you brush your teeth, you can only reach the teeth’s front and back but not in between them. Bacteria begin to form where your brush cannot reach.


How Should You Floss Your Teeth?

You might know that you have to floss your teeth regularly, but exactly how do you do it? Here are a few guidelines to get you started on flossing your teeth the right way.

You can start by breaking off your dental floss to about 18 to 24 inches and wind it around both your middle fingers. Then, hold the floss between your index fingers and the thumb as you guide it in between your teeth in a circular motion. Ensure that you move the floss up and down, but avoid flossing into the gums, as it can bruise or scratch your gums.

As the floss gets to your gums, curve it to form a C shape to enable it to enter or penetrate in between your teeth and gums. That way, it gets rid of any tartar and plaque that may have formed. If you have bracelets, you might take a bit more time but be consistent and use dental floss that does not stick in your braces.

Note that if it is your first time, you may experience some bleeding due to inflammation. However, if the bleeding becomes persistent, consider visiting your dentist.


Why Should You Floss Regularly?

Here are some of the reasons why you should not overlook flossing your teeth:

  • Gets Rid of Plaque That Your Toothbrush Cannot Reach

When you brush your teeth, you can only reach the top or back of your teeth. In most cases, plaque forms in between the teeth. So, as much as you brush, you need to floss to remove the bacteria building up between the teeth. If the plaque and tartar are not removed, you might end up getting gum disease and cavities.

  • Protects Your Gums From Bleeding

You might experience bleeding as you start to floss, but the bleeding can stop when you do it consistently. Your gums bleed because your body sends blood cells to fight the bacteria. So, if you get rid of the bacteria, the bleeding also stops.

  • Protects You From Severe Health Conditions

Poor oral hygiene not only predisposes you to dental diseases but also risks your overall hygiene. Bad teeth hygiene can lead to severe health conditions such as stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. Therefore, if you floss, you eliminate bacteria, which cause most infections, leading to severe conditions.


Visit Your Dentist Regularly

As much as you brush and floss your teeth, it would be best if you visited your dentist for annual checkups. That way, your dentist can check your teeth’s health and catch early signs of dental diseases.


If you would like any dental treatment or advice, don’t hesitate to contact our team at John K. See, DDS, in Camarillo, California. You can also contact us at (805) 920-8600 to schedule an appointment.