Flossing is a crucial step in your oral hygiene routine. But you might not know why this practice in particular is extra important when it comes to fighting cavities. Keeping your smile clean with consistent and thorough oral hygiene will prevent lingering residues from harming your dental structure.
Weak teeth are vulnerable to tooth decay or cavities. Though a dentist can treat a cavity with a dental filling, ideally, you should protect your natural dental structure for as long as you can.
Adhering to proper oral hygiene will protect your smile, but you will need to floss at least once a day to maintain a healthy smile. Read on to learn more about the role of flossing in cavity prevention.
How Do Cavities Develop?
Tooth decay occurs when natural oral bacteria penetrate a weak spot in the enamel, the outer layer of the tooth. The bacteria eat away at the dental structure to create a hole in the surface, a cavity.
To treat this early form of tooth decay, a dentist will drill away the decayed part of the tooth and then fill the resulting hole with composite resin. The dental filling molds to cover this vulnerable area and protect it from further harm.
Though a dentist can restore your smile after a cavity, you can avoid the issue in the first place with preventative care like oral hygiene. Oral hygiene will remove excess bacteria and other harmful elements that could weaken your teeth and put them at risk of cavities. Good oral hygiene means attending routine teeth cleanings and making at-home efforts like brushing your teeth and flossing.
How Does Flossing Help Stop Tooth Decay?
Brushing your teeth in conjunction with the abrasive ingredients in toothpaste will scrub away plaque and other build-up that accrues on your smile throughout the day. If left on your teeth, these substances will deteriorate your enamel, weakening it and putting it in danger of decay.
Your toothbrush cannot easily reach the spaces between your teeth. But plaque can still develop there. A dentist can clean these spots in the mouth during your routine dental cleaning, but you need consistent daily attention to keep your smile as clean and healthy as it needs to be.
Otherwise, you could form interproximal cavities, or decay between the teeth. A dentist can still treat these cavities, but they may need to drill away more enamel to reach the decay. Once gone, enamel does not regrow, which is why preventative oral health care is so important.
Flossing is the best way to clean the spaces between your teeth and prevent cavities. You insert waxed string between the teeth and gently rub away build-up to keep your smile fresh and clean. Purposeful movements and frequent practice will help you fight decay. Learn more about preventative dental care by reaching your dentist’s office in Washington, DC online or calling them at 202.318.4113.