When Janet came into our Saint Louis dentist office, she was noticing a considerable amount of plaque build up along her gum line. Janet was perplexed; she was brushing her teeth twice, sometimes three times, a day, and using mouthwash regularly. What was happening?
After examining her mouth, our dentist determined that Janet was suffering from excess plaque and tartar because she was not taking the time to floss every day. Flossing is a critical dental hygiene step that allows patients to eliminate hard to reach plaque between teeth and near the gum tissue.
Our dental team thoroughly cleaned Janet’s mouth, and then sent her home with some specific instructions on how to care for her smile. Here is what we told Janet:
· Floss once a day, every day
· Floss before you brush—once you loosen dental plaque by flossing, you can brush and rinse it away
· Flossing is not a substitute for brushing, and vice versa
· When you floss, make sure that you clean between all of your teeth and along your gum tissue.
· When flossing, move the floss from side to side and vertically to dislodge as much plaque as possible
· Use a fresh section of your long floss strip for each tooth
When Janet came back to see our dental team 6 months later, her smile looked and felt much better. She was amazed at how much cleaner her mouth seemed after instituting such a simple change.
Janet’s story is not unique; many adult patients forgo flossing, and suffer from depleted smiles as a result. The sooner you start flossing regularly, the better off your long-term dental health will be.
Please call our Saint Louis dentist office if you would like to learn more about at-home dental care, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with our dental team.