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Most people are happy to brush their teeth diligently because they can see the results in their pearly whites. And brushing your teeth is vital to preventing tooth decay and gum disease. But often people don’t think about how flossing helps prevent gum disease as well!

Gum disease, in its early stages is called gingivitis. It is an inflammation of your gum tissue which develops when bacteria accumulates into a sticky film called plaque, and eventually hardening into tartar. Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis. Left untreated, gum disease leads to the deterioration of the gum tissue and the bones that anchor your teeth to your jaw.

Plaque forms when bacteria accumulates over time. If plaque is not removed in your daily oral hygiene routine it turns into tartar. Tartar building up near the gum line is the biggest reason gum disease develops. To prevent this, use a soft bristled toothbrush and toothpaste to remove debris and plaque, as a first step. And then take the next step of flossing! As helpful as your toothbrush is, it has its limitations. It cannot reach in between your teeth or between the teeth and the gum line.

Take the time to find a flossing method that can reach those places where your toothbrush can’t. There are a variety of flossers in the dental aisle of your local drugstore or grocery store. There are string and ribbon flossers that allow you to rub the particles and bacteria away.

Pull out about an 18 inch section of floss, wrapping the excess floss around your middle fingers. Hold a small section of floss between your thumb and index finger and pull the floss around your teeth in a U or C shape between your gum line and tooth. Gently rub back and forth to clear out any particles or plaque. Pay extra attention to the molars in the back.

After you floss, rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash to remove any lingering germs. Your teeth and gums will thank you for taking the extra time to brush, floss, and keep plaque and tartar at bay.

Please call our office if you have any questions about how to keep gum disease away. We are here to help your smile be the healthiest it can be! 704-523-7221.