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Do I Really Need to Floss? 

added on: May 21, 2021

It’s not uncommon for your dentist in Lakeland to have patients say; “I brush my teeth twice a day every day, so how can flossing actually make that big of a difference?” The truth is, flossing is a crucial part of any home oral hygiene routine and can help keep your teeth and gums healthy. There’s a joke among dentists that you really don’t have to floss, but you do have to floss the teeth that you want to keep. 

Flossing Gets What Brushing Can’t

First and foremost, flossing every day is important because brushing alone can’t reach every side of each and every tooth. This means that when you pass on the floss you’re not thoroughly cleaning your teeth. Actually, if you skip flossing, you’re leaving about 35% of each tooth’s surface uncleaned. That means a lot of plaque and bacteria are left lingering around and can cause some serious damage. 

What Happens If You Don’t Floss? 

The long story short is that if you don’t floss, you will have unwanted side effects that will often require treatment from your Lakeland dentist. Some ways not flossing can hurt your oral health include: 

  • Plaque hardens into tartar, requiring professional cleaning to remove
  • Cavities are more likely to form
  • Gum disease can develop
  • Teeth can fall out

We Can Tell 

You may think flossing the night before you visit your dentist in Lakeland is enough to remove any buildup between teeth and up under the gums. However, we can tell if you don’t floss regularly. How? During your cleaning, your gums may bleed. Bleeding gums is the number one indicator of gingivitis, and it doesn’t take long for gingivitis to form. If not caught and treated early, gingivitis can quickly turn into irreversible gum disease that can lead to tooth loss and other whole-body health concerns. For this reason, we always encourage our patients to be honest about their habits. This helps us provide the best preventive dentistry and cater care to the individual.  

You’re Not Alone

There is no need to feel embarrassed about not flossing — over 30% of Americans don’t floss every day, so your dentist in Lakeland is used to talking with patients about the importance of flossing. Discuss your flossing habits with your dentist and work on finding the right flossing product for you. Flossing products can include: 

  • Waxed or Unwaxed String Floss
  • Floss Picks
  • Dental Tape
  • Water Flosser

The best floss for you is the floss you will use, so try out a few different kinds of floss to find what’s right for your needs. 

One of the best ways to have great dental checkups is to brush and floss your teeth every day. Not to mention, these habits work wonders in protecting your teeth, gums, and overall oral health.