Why Does It Get Harder To Floss Over Time?

Posted on: 26 May 2021

Every dental patient has likely heard their dentist explain the benefits of flossing. Committing to a regular schedule of flossing can help to keep both your teeth and gums healthy, but it can't do it all alone. If you've noticed that it seems to get more difficult to floss over time, then this guide will explain what's most likely causing it and what you can do to get back to normal.

How Tartar Forms

The likely culprit that's making it more difficult for you to floss is tartar. Tartar is the hardened form of plaque. Generally, flossing is recommended not only for its ability to remove debris from under the gums, but also because it can get rid of plaque from between the teeth. When performed on a regular basis, this can help to keep tartar development to a minimum. However, no dental cleaning procedure that's performed at home can get rid of every speck of bacteria and plaque in the mouth.

While tartar can cause problems everywhere in the mouth, once it forms between teeth, it can make it significantly harder to floss. This is because the tartar forms a sort of thickened wall on the edge of each tooth, limiting how much space there is between them. While this isn't usually visible to the naked eye, it can make it tougher to get the floss between your teeth. As a result, this increases the likelihood of the floss tearing or breaking. It also means that you could hit your gums with the floss by accident because of the extra pressure required to get it between your teeth.

How Long It Takes

This kind of development doesn't happen overnight, even if you've neglected flossing for a while. However, tartar does develop fairly quickly. Plaque can harden into tartar in a matter of hours to days, so every little speck of it that remains between your teeth can cause issues.

What to Do

If you're having this problem, it's time to see a dentist. The good news here is that likely all you need is a simple in-depth cleaning. Your dentist will be able to remove the tartar and plaque, restoring the space between your teeth and making it much easier for you to continue caring for your gums and teeth at home by flossing.

Once your teeth are cleaned, keep up your regular routine of flossing in order to keep tartar development to a minimum. Also, also make sure to maintain a regular appointment schedule with your dentist for cleanings in order to keep this problem from getting as bad ever again. For more information, contact a dentist.