It's common for people to start improving their dental hygiene habits just before seeing a dentist. But if you've decided to start flossing just a week or two before seeing the dentist, it isn't enough to keep your gums and teeth healthy. Here's why you're not getting the full benefits of flossing if you don't do it all the time.
Flossing is an extremely effective way of removing bits of food and plaque from between the teeth and from under the gumline. When done on a regular basis, this can not only help stave off gum disease but it can also keep you from developing enamel damage on the inside edges of your teeth where this plaque hides. While there are some benefits to flossing no matter when you start, like improving gum circulation and helping to prevent the production of more plaque, chances are there's already a problem that flossing can no longer help.
Tartar is like the big brother of plaque. It's what is made after plaque hardens when it's left alone without being cleaned away.
Flossing has zero impact on tartar. It's simply too hard and sticky to be removed with either a toothbrush or dental floss. Once you develop tartar, only a dentist can get rid of it.
So if you started flossing just before seeing the dentist, they'll be able to tell. You'll likely have little plaque between your teeth, but you may have considerable tartar between your teeth. You may also have gum disease.
What To Do If You Hate Flossing
A lot of people dislike flossing and won't do it as a result. But there are more options these days for making cleaning between your teeth and under the gums more pleasant.
For starters, if you've never tried it, you should try to floss at least once immediately after seeing a dentist. You might be surprised at how much easier it is. Once the tartar between your teeth is stripped away, it will be considerably easier for the floss to glide between the teeth because there'll be more space.
However, there are other things you can do, too. You can try water flossing, for example. This uses a high-pressure stream of water to blast away plaque and food bits from between the teeth and under the gums.
And lastly, if you simply can't deal with flossing at all, the best thing you can do for yourself is to go to do the dentist's office more often. By letting them clean your teeth and gums more frequently, you'll reduce the risk of developing cavities and gum disease.
For more information about dentistry, contact a dental clinic like Hayden Dental.