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To ensure a healthy smile, your goal should be clearing away oral bacteria and dental plaque from your teeth and gums daily. While brushing can remove bacteria from most tooth surfaces and the tongue, flossing reaches those areas between the teeth and around the gumline. This keeps cavities and gingivitis from taking over your smile.

Clinical Microbiology Reviews show that dental plaque in the mouth is home to more than 1,000 bacteria. The bacteria irritate your gums so they become inflamed, swollen, and bleed.

Unfortunately, these conditions encourage the bacteria to flourish so that you end up with gingivitis. Without intervention, untreated gingivitis leads to periodontal disease. Once periodontal disease sets in, harmful bacteria enter the bloodstream and travel to other places in the body where they can harm the heart and lungs, as well as other organs.

Along with gingivitis, cavities also invade your smile if plaque isn’t removed daily. We recommend brushing 2-3 times each day and flossing once, preferably at bedtime to remove stray food particles and oral plaque clinging to the gumline and between the teeth.

Your flossing goals should be to find a technique you will use and do it daily. Dental floss or wax is still a common method of choice. It is easy and effective: take out an 18″ strip, wind it around your index and middle fingers, place between your teeth, and slide up and down to remove debris. Clean between all the teeth and along the gumline. If you prefer, you can use an oral irrigator, dental flosser, or interdental brush to floss.

For more information on caring for your smile, or to schedule an appointment with our dentist, please call Complete Care Dental at 610.833.1919 today. Dr. Neil Dhillon and our team in Woodlyn, Pennsylvania, are here to support your oral health!