Why are brushing and flossing so important?

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Why Are Brushing and Flossing So Important? 

Brushing and flossing are very important to oral hygiene.  Professional dental cleanings remove plaque, tartar, and debris, however excellent homecare methods are equally valuable.

Proper brushing and flossing provide the following benefits:

  • Prevention of tooth decay – Tooth decay is one of the leading causes of tooth loss, and its treatment often requires complex dental procedures.  Tooth decay occurs when the acids found in plaque erode the natural enamel found on the teeth.  This phenomenon can easily be prevented by using proper home hygiene methods.
  • Prevention of periodontal disease – Periodontal disease is a serious, progressive condition which can cause tooth loss, gum recession, and jawbone recession. Periodontal disease is caused by the toxins found in plaque and can lead to serious health problems in other parts of the body.  Removing plaque and calculus (tartar) from the surface of the tooth using a toothbrush and from the interdental areas using dental floss, is an excellent way to help prevent periodontal problems. 
  • Prevention of halitosis – Bad breath or halitosis is usually caused by old food particles on or between the teeth.  These food particles can be removed with regular brushing and flossing, leaving the mouth healthier, and breath smelling fresher.
  • Prevention of staining – Staining, or yellowing, of teeth can be caused by a wide variety of factors such as smoking, coffee, and tea.  Regular brushing and flossing remove these staining agents from the teeth, making it less likely that the stains will become permanent.

Day Family Dental

Dr. Nathan Day, DMD • Dentist • Lansing, MI


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