If you have ever had to have a cavity filled, you have probably experienced having the upper surface of your tooth drilled into. To fill a cavity, the cavity (or hole) in the tooth must be thoroughly cleaned out. Therefore, dentists must increase the size of the cavity so that they can clean it out and treat it for any bacterial infection. The cavity is then filled, and your tooth is protected from further decay. While this type of cavity on the upper surface of a tooth is the most common type of cavity, it is not the only type of cavity.
Cavities can also occur between the teeth. These interproximal cavities are casually referred to as “flossing cavities,” because they are almost 100% avoidable by a daily flossing habit.
The spaces between the teeth are incredibly challenging to get to by any other means than dental floss. Dental floss is the only tool designed to scrape the bacteria-laden plaque out from between the teeth. As with all oral bacteria, if it is allowed to sit between the teeth without being removed on a regular basis, the bacteria will damage the teeth. Toothbrushes are great tools for loosening plaque and food particles from the teeth’s outer surfaces, but the bristles of a toothbrush cannot get to the spaces between the teeth. You can be an avid tooth brusher, and still be shocked to learn that you have a cavity when you go to the dentist. If you are not flossing daily, don’t be surprised if this happens to you!
While flossing your teeth does require about a minute of your time, that minute is time well spent. And in the grand scheme of things, one minute out of your day is not even noticeable!
At Buford Family Dental, we want to encourage all of our dental patients to floss daily. You may be shocked to hear this, but if you were trapped on a deserted island and could only take one thing with you, your dentist would want you to choose dental floss! While both brushing and flossing are essential, flossing is more important than brushing because it scrapes away damaging bacteria-producing acids from your teeth.
If you want to learn more about the importance of flossing, tricks to ensure that you are flossing correctly, or you need a routine cleaning – call Buford Family Dental today. We are here to help you and your family achieve a healthy smile!