Brushing your teeth is the most important defence against bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease. A close second behind brushing is flossing. The gaps between your teeth are breeding grounds for millions of bacteria that live on food particles that become lodged there. These parts of the mouth are hard to reach and an ordinary toothbrush is not able to clean effectively in the small gaps. Flossing once a day as dentists recommend is crucial in removing the bacteria that causes tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath.
If these areas are not regularly cleaned thoroughly, the bacteria will start to produce acid as it breaks down that will eat into the enamel of the teeth and cause cavities. It also produces foul smelling sulfurous compounds which are the cause of over 90 per cent of cases of bad breath.
The bacteria and food particles make up part of a substance called plaque, a mucus like film which covers the teeth and causes decay. Brushing can remove most plaque in the mouth but in harder to get areas it requires flossing to remove it. This includes areas below the gumline where plaque build up can contribute to gingivitis (commonly known as gum disease).
Plaque that is not removed eventually becomes a hard substance called tartar. This can not be removed by brushing or flossing and needs to be removed by a dentist in a process called scaling. Tartar further attacks the teeth and gums causing more serious and painful tooth decay and gum disease that can lead to the eventual loss of teeth. Flossing in these areas every day will prevent the onset of gum disease which can be responsible for various forms of heart disease and even cancer.
Dentists in London W1 can advise you on correct flossing techniques and which type of floss will be most effective for you. In the war against tooth decay and gum disease flossing is one of the first lines of defence. A few extra minutes spent flossing everyday can prevent future years of pain and costly dental treatment, definitely an investment worth making.