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What happens if you don’t floss – 3 Best Alternatives

In this article, we will discuss that what happens if you don’t floss and why you should floss.

I will also share the 3 best alternatives that may change your mind to start flossing.

But first, let see what happens if you don’t floss your teeth and its consequences.

What happens if you don’t floss your teeth?

According to NCBI 31.6% of adults are flossing their teeth daily, 36.6% flossing once a week.

Whereas 31.9% of adults are reported not flossing.

You must know why flossing is important and why you should start it immediately.


Formation of Plaque and Tartar

Even while brushing teeth twice a day there are certain food particles that remain between the teeth.

I am sure even you may have experienced some time feeling something between the teeth.

If these particles are not cleaned from teeth and gums from time to time they will form plaque and then build tartar.

Formation of Plaque on teeth
Formation of Plaque on teeth


So once these particles stick for a long time they start forming the yellow film of bacteria called plaque.

This plaque can further be converted to a hard layer of calculus. Though there are few home remedies to remove calculus and finally it can be only treated by a dentist.


Gingivitis and Periodontitis

Gingivitis and periodontitis can be the next problems because of not flossing.

You must know everything that what happens if you don’t floss.


So once the plaque is formed it not only affects your teeth but also the gums and other parts.

Gingivitis is a gum disease which that will cause irritation, redness, and soreness.


Due to the increase of inflammation on the tissue over teeth, it turns into a more serious gum disease called periodontitis.

In simple, if not taken care of gingivitis, it will turn into periodontitis.

This is why it’s important to know that what happens if you don’t floss.

Gingivitis is curable but periodontitis is not and needs to be treated by the dentist.



Unclean particles between your teeth will also lead to a cavity.

Cavity due to not Flossing
Cavity due to not Flossing


The holes on teeth by the cavity mostly need to be treated by the dentist. Though there are few natural ways to fill a cavity that only works during the very early stage.

But you can avoid this by proper brushing and flossing.


Tooth loss (what happens if you don’t floss)

These above teeth and gums problems like periodontitis and cavity will weak your teeth which will later result in tooth loss.

Periodontitis will weak your gums and as result, your teeth grip will lose and fall.

What Happens If I Don't Floss My Teeth
What Happens If I Don’t Floss My Teeth


Now keep in mind, this leads to more problems like health issues and losing money.

After losing a tooth you may need to go for dental implants which are very expensive. The cost of a dental implant would be really high if you don’t have dental insurance.


Cause to other dental problems and Infections

Yes, there would be several other problems not only with your oral health but with other body organs.

These bacteria and inflammation can also increase the risk of heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.

If you have any cut on cheeks or gums these bacteria may result in other serious problems.


Why Cleaning or Flossing teeth is Important?

Cleaning between your teeth is super important.

Bacteria thrives in those crevices and lots of patients get cavities between their teeth and gum disease often starts there because gums can easily get inflamed in those areas.

So how to prevent all of this is to clean between your teeth properly and to fully understand that what happens if you don’t floss.

3 Alternatives of Flossing

Technically there are three additional ways to clean in between your teeth other than traditional string

  1. Floss Picks
  2. Interdental Brushes
  3. Water Flosser

Floss picks are a thing that is not my favorite but it’s better than nothing we’ll talk more about those in just a moment.

There are also interdental brushes super great for lots of patience unfortunately it seems like lots of people don’t even know these exist but they can be great once you find the right size for your teeth.

Floss Picks

Lots of people might like to use these because they are quicker than traditional string floss.

This is suitable for patients who may have manual dexterity issues such as special needs populations, elderly patients, and patients who truly can’t fit their fingers in their mouth.

They are also great for kids who are still learning how to do things that can’t properly hold and use traditional string floss yet.

Use Floss Picks for Flossing

Lots of people don’t or can’t use proper technique when flossing with traditional string floss and or lots of people just don’t floss at all.

In these cases, if you like floss picks and that’s the only way you’re going to clean between your teeth then go for it something is better than nothing.


Interdental Aids

Interdental Brushes are also called proxy brushes sometimes called interproximal brushes or proxy brushes in-betweeners whatever you want to call them.

These brushes go between your teeth to clean the tiny particles.

There is lots of great dental research proving the efficacy of these and if you use them properly by finding the correct size for your teeth they can really keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Personally, I like to use these in addition to traditional string floss on my lower front teeth because I tend to get more plaque build-up there so I really feel like it keeps those areas extra clean for me.


Water Flosser

Anyone can use water flossers but some people may benefit from them more than others such as people with gingivitis or braces or implants those are just some examples.

I personally use it and I don’t have any of those I use it a couple of times a week as well like I said I’m a daily traditional strength flosser.

I have recently seen a patient asking in one of the dental offices that what happens if you don’t floss and a dentist briefed him the consequences and also recommended water flosser to him.

But whenever I eat say a big salad or something I can physically see all the food debris rinse out from my mouth and it’s satisfying because water flossers provide such a great water lavage to flush away food bacteria debris.


Bottom Line

Kindly ask your dentist about what they recommend for you to use for your individual mouth.

All dental hygiene tool that works for you might not work for someone else everyone’s mouth is different and everyone’s body is different.

I personally love string floss traditional string floss and I believe anyone who can properly string floss should properly string floss but that’s not everyone

Some patients may benefit more from interdental brushes some may benefit more from water flossing. Hopefully, you are fully aware that what happens if you don’t floss.

Pragati Mishra

I am Pragati Mishra, currently working as a Dental assistant. I love sharing my experience and real dental facts with you all. I love reading books and cooking during my free time.

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