Only 50% of Americans floss daily according to the American Dental Association. If you don’t floss, this means that you are cleaning about 65% of the plaque that forms on your teeth.
Plaque is defined in Merriam-Webster as a thin coating that forms on the teeth and contains bacteria.
If plaque is not cleaned regularly, then tartar will form. Tartar is plaque that has hardened on the tooth. If you have tartar build up, your teeth are more susceptible to decay.
Tartar hardens near the base of the tooth and contains bacteria. This can cause inflammation of the gums and can cause bleeding when you brush or floss. This is called gingivitis, which is defined further as “when the gums become red, swollen and bleed easily,” and is an early stage of gum disease.
In order to prevent plaque and tartar build up, it is important to have a daily regimen of brushing and flossing. It is recommended that you brush at least twice a day and floss once a day.
Even if you brush and floss regularly, it is also important to go to the dentist for regular deep cleanings. Proper dental hygiene at home, and regular cleanings with your dentist, will help prevent expensive dental procedures later.
So remember to floss!