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General Dentistry

What Happens if I Don’t Floss?

January 24, 2020


Each night before it’s time to go to sleep, memories may come to mind of your mom telling you, “Don’t forget to brush and floss your teeth before you get in bed, Andrew!” You may have wondered why she was so adamant that you don’t forget to floss. Well, we have the answers to that question right here for you. We know, just like your mom did, that when you don’t floss your teeth, you become vulnerable to developing cavities.  What she may not have known is that you are also at more risk of getting gum disease and may compromise the health of your entire body if you let it get out of hand. 


Cavities start to form in your teeth when the food particles, plaque, and bacteria are not removed. Brushing your teeth is a great way to get most of these things off of your teeth. However, a toothbrush does not have the capability of getting these substances out from in between your teeth. Failing to floss day after day creates the perfect environment for the bacteria between your teeth to attack your tooth enamel and create holes in the surface. Those holes are known as cavities. Cavities can affect one or more teeth and spread to infect multiple layers of your teeth. 


Gum disease occurs when inadequate brushing and flossing habits allow plaque and bacteria to build up and harden. When the plaque turns hard, only a professional cleaning from a dentist will be able to remove it. Gum disease can make your gums swell and bleed. Severe cases can cause painful chewing problems and even tooth loss. If you have had inadequate brushing and flossing habits or have experienced any of the symptoms listed above, give us a call at (208) 359-1500 to make an appointment to come in and have your oral health evaluated. 


The health of your entire body can be affected by not flossing if you let gum disease get out of hand. Health issues that gum disease can affect include diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, respiratory disease, strokes, and premature births. Taking care of your teeth and gums by flossing daily will save you a lot of trouble. Plus, it will help your smile look and feel better!



How To Floss Properly


In addition to brushing twice a day, flossing once a day will help keep your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy. Here are some steps on how to floss the most effective way.

  1. String out about an 8-inch piece of floss.
  2. Wrap one end around a finger on your left hand, and wrap the other end around a finger on your right.
  3. Hold the center of the floss with your index or pointer fingers to keep it steady.
  4. Gently press the floss in between the first two teeth you want to floss.
  5. Hold the floss tightly to one side of your tooth and rub the floss gently up and down pressing against each tooth.
  6. If gunk comes out from between your teeth when flossing, you may want to rinse your floss before continuing with the rest of your teeth.
  7. Repeat this process over and over, making sure that you floss between every tooth. It is especially important not to miss your back teeth.
  8. After flossing all of your teeth, throw the floss away and rinse out your mouth.


That’s all there is to it! Flossing will only take you a few minutes each day and will save you from the many problems that could occur if you choose to skip this important habit.