To clean your teeth effectively, you need to brush and floss them. Brushing needs to be done twice a day, for two minutes each time to properly remove bacterial plaque and bits of food and oral debris. Flossing needs to be done between the teeth and around the gumline, to ensure that all tooth surfaces have been reached. If you neglect this two-part process you have a greater risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
When plaque collects around the teeth and is allowed to coat the teeth, oral bacteria feed on sugars and food particles, producing acid. This acid then coats the teeth, wearing away tooth enamel. Once the plaque hardens into tartar, it irritates the gum tissue as well as harms enamel. Once tooth enamel is weakened and tiny holes appear, you are at risk for cavities.
Although people have used non-flossing tools, like their fingernails, paper, and cutlery, we strongly advise against these items as they can harm your gums. Thankfully, you have plenty of ADA approved flossing products available for your safety! Not only are they safe, but have been proven effective at removing plaque and oral debris.
Try dental floss, dental wax, dental picks, interdental brushes and even oral irrigators to help you clean between your teeth. Determine what works best for YOU, and then do it, daily!
Please call 650-327-3770 if you have questions or need to schedule a visit with our dentist, Dr. Chris Lindsey. At the dental practice of Chris E. Lindsey DDS in Palo Alto, California, we look forward to helping your smile thrive!