You only have one set of adult teeth, and they need to last until you are 80, 90, or beyond. The actions you take towards your teeth today will either benefit you or harm you in the future. Of course, good dental care starts with seeing a dentist regularly. You should go in for cleanings and checkups, and any other time you think something might be amiss with your teeth. Education is important when it comes to any aspect of your health, so start reading the articles on this website to educate yourself about dentists and dental care. We promise that when you're 80 and you still have your teeth, you won't regret the time spent.
Taking care of your teeth and gums requires flossing. But whether you've been flossing all along or have only recently started, it can be discouraging to experience difficulty while trying to pull the floss through. If you end up with shredded floss or accidentally hit your gums while flossing because it's so hard to get it between your teeth, it may mean that it's time to call a dentist. Here's what you should know.
Getting the Floss Between Your Teeth
If you've ever flossed at all, then you likely know how much tension is normal for you when trying to floss. If you're experiencing more tension than usual, that may mean that you have tartar that's built up between your teeth.
Unlike plaque, tartar can't be flossed away. When it develops on the edge of teeth, it's like adding caulk. This hard substance reduces the amount of space between your teeth, making it harder to squeeze floss through. As a result, your floss may shred, or you may need to use so much force that you end up hitting your gums with the taut floss, thus hurting them.
Getting it Under Your Gums
Alternatively, whether or not you can get the floss between your teeth, you may be having a hard time getting it under the gumline. Tartar can develop over and under the gumline, creating a sort of wall that keeps floss from being able to get in. This makes flossing far less effective, as you can't get under the gumline to remove new plaque or food debris that's gotten under there.
At the end of the day, flossing is one of the best things that you can do for your teeth and gums, but it's not enough all on its own. Regular dental appointments are still a necessity to control any plaque you miss that becomes tartar.
In short, if you're having trouble flossing, then it's time to seek help from a dentist. They can thoroughly clean your teeth and remove any tartar with an ultrasonic scaler, breaking it up and allowing it to be rinsed away. This includes the tartar under your gums. From this point on, you should have a significantly easier time flossing.
If you notice that flossing is becoming more difficult, it's likely time to set up an appointment for a dental cleaning. Make the call and get the help you need before your tartar causes gum disease or cavities. Contact a dentist for more information.