Many people floss less often than they should, whether that be a few times a week or every once in a blue moon. Ideally, you should be flossing your teeth at least once per day as part of your oral hygiene routine for healthy teeth and gums. So, why is this important? Our dentists and dental hygienists at Trillium Dental will explain below.


Even if you brush your teeth twice per day, bacteria can still collect in the crevices between your teeth where your toothbrush doesn’t reach. If you don’t floss regularly, this bacteria turns into plaque, which then hardens into a substance called tartar. Tartar feeds on tooth enamel, creating cavities between the teeth and causing further tooth decay if it is not removed by your family dentist with a dental scaler. When you floss, you’re removing plaque before it hardens, which is an easy way to prevent dental problems like cavities and gum disease.


When tartar builds up along the gum line, it eats away at the tooth enamel and infects the gum tissue, increasing your risk of developing periodontal disease. If you don’t floss your teeth on a regular basis, you may develop gingivitis, or early-stage gum disease, which is characterized by swollen, tender gums that bleed easily. Fortunately, gingivitis can be reversed with various periodontal treatments like gum lasering and gingivectomies. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry — gum disease is linked to many life-threatening health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.


Swollen, infected gums aren’t a pretty sight, especially if the infection has progressed to gingivitis or periodontal disease. Many patients with gum disease have receding gums, which make the teeth appear longer than normal due to the infected gums pulling away from the teeth. It is also not uncommon for people with periodontal disease to have extensive tooth decay, which causes the teeth to turn a grayish color. If you value the appearance of your pearly whites, flossing daily is essential for an attractive smile.


At Trillium Dental, our dentists and dental hygienists emphasize the importance of flossing to all of our patients. If you are due for a teeth cleaning at your local dental clinic, contact us today or book your appointment online at one of our eight dental offices in Ottawa. We look forward to seeing you!