You may have heard the news that dental floss could actually damage teeth and gums. Most people don’t mind brushing their teeth as much but many dislike flossing and this sounds like the perfect excuse you’ve been waiting for to stop flossing! Flossing is a lot of additional work and if it is going to harm your teeth and gums, then why keep doing it? Could brushing really well compensate for not flossing or is there another device that can perform the job of dental floss which is safer as well?
Pros of Flossing
1. Brushing without flossing doesn’t remove all the food and plaque particles. Some people attempt to brush harder or longer to avoid flossing their teeth. This doesn’t work and will end up causing damage to your gums instead. Brushing and flossing each serve their own purpose and their functions do not really overlap much but rather complement each other.
- A toothbrush is designed to clean food and plaque buildup on teeth surfaces and groves
- Dental floss is used to clean buildup material in between the teeth and in areas where the toothbrush can not reach as well
2. Flossing fights off cavities in between your teeth. Cavity bugs have two favorite places they love to gather and start building cavities from.
- The groves located on your back teeth, known as occlusal cavities
- In-between teeth, known as interproximal cavities
Brushing will help prevent the first type of cavities on teeth groves while flossing is more effective in preventing the type of cavities which develop in between the teeth. It is not unusual to run into patients who brush well but don’t floss who end up with multiple cavities all of which are located in-between their teeth. The worse thing about these types of cavities is that they can’t be easily spotted in their early stages without an X-ray. They can creep up on you and become painful without any signs seemingly out of nowhere!
3. Flossing regularly also helps in fighting off gum disease. The same food and plaque particles which build up between your teeth can lead to gum disease as well as cavities. If you do not remove the food and plaque on time it will become calcified, known as tartar or calculus, which is the main cause of gum disease. The most effective way to keep your gums healthy and fight off gum disease is to floss regularly to prevent the formation of these harmful build ups in between your teeth.