PLAQUE THAT IS NOT REMOVED can harden into tartar, a hard mineral deposit that forms on teeth and can only be removed through professional cleaning by a dental professional. When this happens, brushing and cleaning between teeth becomes more difficult and gum tissue can become swollen or may bleed. This condition is called gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease.
Interdental cleaning helps remove debris and interproximal dental plaque, the plaque that collects between two teeth. Dental floss and other interdental cleaners help clean these hard-to-reach tooth surfaces and reduce the likelihood of gum disease and tooth decay. Use of an interdental cleaner (like floss) is an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.
Dental floss (or dental tape) and other interdental cleaners (e.g. small brushes, special wooden sticks, plastic picks or water flossers) remove food trapped between the teeth as well as the film of bacteria that forms there before it has a chance to harden into plaque. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces.
The practice of brushing and flossing at least once a day can greatly decrease your chances of having gingivitis and periodontal disease and increases your chances of having a healthier mouth.