Is Brushing Your Teeth Enough?

blonde woman brushing teeth at sinkFor as long as most of us can remember, we’ve been admonished to brush our teeth at least twice a day, or after every meal if possible. The logic is sound; not brushing your teeth often enough will allow bacteria to accumulate into plaque, which coats the surfaces of your mouth, teeth, and gums. There are over 600 different identifiable kinds of oral bacteria, and when they’re excessively present in your mouth, you’re at a greater risk of developing serious oral health issues. Still, brushing your teeth is only a part of a good oral hygiene routine. If you neglect the rest of it, you are still at risk for oral health problems, even if you brush your teeth three or four times a day.

Flossing is Just as Important to Good Hygiene

As you read this, bacteria are currently accumulating inside of your mouth. When you eat, you feed certain bacteria the fuel they need to produce acid, which weakens your tooth enamel until it can no longer protect your teeth from bacteria. This process of tooth decay is not dependent on the amount of sugar or carbs you eat, but rather on the length of time that your teeth are exposed to these substances. When food gets lodged between teeth, it continues to feed the bacteria, which continue to produce acid as a result. While brushing your teeth removes the majority of plaque and food debris, a toothbrush cannot reach the tight spaces between teeth. Flossing at least once a day can remove these food particles and lessen the chance of cavities forming.

Professional Help from Your Family Dentist

Now that you have a good hygiene routine in place, you are better prepared to protect your teeth from daily attacks. However, nobody is perfect, and there is a good chance that some plaque may be left behind. If left for more than 48 hours, plaque calcifies (hardens) into tartar, which cannot be removed at home with a toothbrush. At your dental checkup and cleaning, which you should attend at least every six months, our hygienist will carefully and thoroughly clean away residual traces of plaque and tartar, especially between your teeth and around the gum line. We’ll also thoroughly inspect your mouth, teeth, and gums for signs of early decay or infection.


For over 15 years, Dr. Michele Collier and the talented professionals at Waterstone Family Dentistry have provided comfortable, compassionate family dental care to patients of all ages from Fuquay Varina, NC, as well as Holly Springs, Angier, Willow Springs, Raleigh, and all surrounding communities. If you’d like to learn more, you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Collier by calling (919) 557-5250 today.

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