How Necessary is Flossing, Really?

You’ve heard it time and time again: don’t forget to floss! But is flossing really doing that much for your oral health, or is it just something dentists like to nag us about? In this blog, we’ll go over the purpose of flossing, how it can improve your oral health, and answer the age-old question once and for all—is flossing necessary?

What Flossing Actually Does

When you hear the term “calculus,” you probably think back to high school or college math class—but when it comes to oral health, it means something very different. When plaque is left alone for too long, it absorbs calcium from your saliva and becomes hard. This is called calculus, and it’s not easily removed. In fact, it can’t be removed just by brushing and flossing thoroughly at home—it requires a professional cleaning! 

When calculus is not addressed, it can quickly lead to gum disease and the problems associated with it. Periodontitis can take as little as a few months to develop, or as long as several years. 

The goal of flossing is to reach the crevices in your mouth that your toothbrush simply can’t reach. These places are the perfect spots for plaque to harden into calculus. While seeing your dentist twice a year for a thorough checkup and cleaning is the best thing you can do for your oral health, incorporating daily habits that keep the plaque at bay is also important! 

Make Sure You’re Flossing the Right Way

If you’re going to add flossing to your oral hygiene routine, make sure you’re doing it correctly! These days there’s a myriad of different ways you can floss. You can use traditional floss that you wrap around your fingers, you can use floss picks, or you can try a water flosser. All of these things will help you reach those hard-to-reach places in your mouth where plaque might be hiding. 

Be sure that while you’re using a simple sawing motion in between your teeth, you’re not flossing too hard. Your gums are sensitive! While you might see some blood the first few times you floss, seeing it every time you brush or floss is a bad sign. 

So, Is Flossing Necessary?

The short answer? Yes! Flossing is an important part of any oral health routine, and shouldn’t be underestimated. While brushing thoroughly and seeing your dentist regularly are arguably more important, flossing helps you reach those tight spaces where bacteria, plaque, and eventually calculus are waiting to wreak havoc on your teeth and gums! 

The fact that flossing can clean what your toothbrush can’t should say plenty about the necessity of this step in your routine. Not sure if your flossing is effective? Ask your dentist to show you the proper technique at your next checkup! 

Is It Time for Your Checkup? 

If you’re due for a dental checkup and cleaning, it’s time to schedule an appointment with LeCroy Dental! We’ll check your mouth for any signs of potential problems, give you a bright and clean smile, and answer any questions you might have. Get in touch with us today!