I don’t have time to floss – but I brush my teeth and use mouthwash and they are fine.

For many of us adding another cleaning method in to our daily routine can sound like an extra unnecessary chore. Hopefully after reading this you will realise the importance of flossing and find it a lot easier.

Brushing twice a day with your tooth brush using a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash is essential if you hope to keep any of your teeth. However using your tooth brush and fluoride products alone will not solely clean all your tooth surfaces. A toothbrush will only clean the tops and outer surfaces of your teeth and gums. Research has shown that around 35% of your tooth surfaces are missed by simply not flossing.

Now, if you are sitting there thinking that can’t be true as I have just brushed my nashers and they feel sparkling – I would like to invite you to take a length of floss and get flossing!

The white/ yellowish (bacteria-laden) film that sticks to your floss comes from the interdental spaces in-between your teeth and along your gum line. Food and other debris get lodged and rest here. When this isn’t removed this will in time harden and turn in to calculus/ tartar (calcified plaque) plaque starts to calcify after 48 hours. Once you have calculus you need to have it removed by your dentist or hygienist but with the use of floss and removing it daily before it develops you can prevent it from getting to this stage.

Well, no one can see the build up in-between my teeth and along my gum margins! I’m just happy along as they look clean.

If you do have good oral health – but don’t floss you may think that it is unnecessary. As it is not visible to you or anyone else but please REMEMBER: Gum disease is not a something that develops overnight. If the calcified plaque is not removed this will start to irritate your gums. You may then start to notice some inflammation, bad breath or slight bleeding around your gums, at this stage gingivitis is reversible. If it is allowed to continue residing in your interdental spaces and gum margins the disease will keep progressing, eventually it will affect the supporting structures around your teeth (periodontal disease). At this stage your gums pull away from your teeth and form spaces (called “pockets”) that become infected. Your body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body’s natural response to infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. If professional help is not sought the supporting structures around your tooth will be destroyed and as a result you will lose your teeth.

If your oral health needs to be improved, please make sure you are keeping up with your routine dental checkups or start keeping up with them. Don’t panic if you think you are too far gone- book an appointment with your dentist (we are taking on new patients) and he will give you the advice you need and plan your treatment if necessary. It is proven an unhealthy mouth can harm the rest of the body, leading to heart disease, diabetes and respiratory illness. So once you have made these appointments stick to them. It will only benefit you!
Flossing only takes a few minutes every day, and adds little to the cost of toothpaste, toothbrushes and mouthwash. It’s a small, simple step that can have huge implications for your long-term health.