Avoiding Tooth Decay: Flossing is a Must

At any given dental appointment, you’ve probably been asked how often you floss. For many patients, a simple answer to that question is not enough. There’s a reason dentists are so persistent about flossing, however. When it comes to protecting your teeth and avoiding decay, flossing regularly is absolutely essential. Flossing reaches areas of your teeth that a toothbrush simply can’t. Fortunately, Sweetwater Dental can fill you in on the importance of flossing and even suggest some alternatives.

At Sweetwater Dental, the oral health of our patients is always our first concern. The professionals here know how essential flossing is, and we strive to provide helpful information and resources to our patients so they can maintain healthy teeth and a proper oral hygiene routine. The first step in a thorough routine is brushing and flossing, so take a moment to learn why you need to floss regularly to avoid problematic teeth.

A Toothbrush Alone Can’t Prevent Decay

It’s true: patients need to brush their teeth at least twice a day to remove plaque and bacteria. However, brushing alone won’t be enough to combat harmful sugars and acids that wear down tooth enamel. Though brushing is effective in removing plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria that adheres to your teeth, brushing can only reach the surfaces of teeth. Flossing, on the other hand, works to remove plaque and food debris from the gaps between your teeth, which is also beneficial to the health of your gums.

When you forget to floss, sugars and acids from food debris remain on your teeth longer, forming plaque and leaving them susceptible to cavities. This is what makes flossing so important. It’s even beneficial to floss before brushing your teeth, as the fluoride in toothpaste is able to reach more areas of your teeth. If flossing is a struggle, whether you have braces or find it too difficult, you can try a few alternatives.

Alternative Ways to Floss

We can’t stress the importance of flossing enough, but for some patients, the task is either too difficult to bother with or braces make it a pain. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways you can avoid the troubles of flossing, while still protecting those small gaps in between your teeth. Take a look below:

  • Floss Threaders: For patients with braces or other orthodontic appliances, flossing can be quite difficult. Floss threaders work like a needle, which you can feed floss through and use to thread it underneath wires and in between brackets. Ask your orthodontist for some at your next appointment.
  • Proxabrushes: Great for on the go or patients with braces, proxabrushes are shaped like Christmas trees and allow you to reach underneath wires and between brackets.
  • Super Floss: Designed for patients with braces, bridges, and gaps between their teeth, super floss uses a stiffened end with both spongy and regular dental floss for optimal cleaning.
  • Soft Picks: Similar to proxabrushes and also great for bringing on the go, soft picks feature rubber-bristled tip for cleaning in between teeth, crowns, braces, and more.

Don’t Forget Checkups at Sweetwater Dental!

The importance of flossing is clear. In conjunction with brushing, flossing twice a day will help prevent cavities from forming, and it’ll also promote better oral health. Of course, we also recommend every patient visits Sweetwater Dental in Rock Springs, WY twice a year for checkups and dental cleanings. In our office, Dr. Ryan Taylor can assess your mouth and ensure it’s free of decay and other issues.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment. You can also give us a call at 307.382.2707. We look forward to hearing from you!