Your Family Dentist Asks: How Often Do You Floss?

how often do you flossBrushing your teeth without flossing is like washing only the outsides of your hands; you’ve done an incomplete job. The purpose of brushing your teeth is to remove food debris and dental plaque before it can calcify, or harden, into tartar. Once plaque calcifies, brushing and flossing it won’t work, and it will require your family dentist or hygienist to remove it from your teeth with professional dental equipment. If you remove the substance from the fronts and sides of your teeth, but neglect the plaque situated between them, you will not successfully prevent tartar, and your oral health will remain at risk, almost as if you had done nothing at all. To help you properly protect the integrity of your oral health, we explain the importance, and proper method, of flossing your teeth.

Why Do You Have to Floss, Anyway?

As stated above, flossing is necessary to remove plaque and food debris from the spaces between your teeth. Why is that important? The answer becomes clear when you understand the nature of dental plaque. The sticky substance is a result of bacteria congregating in your mouth, which excrete the biofilm for protection, and to allow them to stick your teeth and gums. The majority of these bacteria are harmless, but the few that can threaten your oral health are extremely dangerous, and can lead to serious oral health issues like tooth decay and gum disease. Controlling the amount of bacterial plaque in your mouth will reduce the damage it is able to cause, and flossing is vital to removing it from between your teeth.


Awarded America’s Top Dentist since 2008, Neda Sayyah, DMD, is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) and the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), and is certified in the use of dental sedation through the DOCS Education program. Dr. Sayyah is also certified to provide Invisalign® clear braces for teens and adults. To learn more, call our office today at 425-688-0197, or email us at Located in Bellevue, WA, we proudly serve patients from Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Seattle, Mercer Island, and all surrounding communities.