Going to the dentist isn't always at the top of everyone's list of things they want to do, but you've got to admit: after a nice dental cleaning, your teeth feel great. There's nothing quite like the slick and super clean feeling to teeth after they've been cleaned professionally. If you want to maintain that feeling for as long as possible, you need to floss. Here's why.

Bacteria Are At Fault

When you think about your teeth feeling less than clean, chances are your mind looks to plaque. It's true; plaque is not only dangerous for your teeth, but it can make your teeth feel sticky and unclean. However, you've got to look further than the plaque itself to get to the root cause of why your teeth don't feel very clean if you're not flossing.

Ultimately, bacteria are at fault for why your teeth don't feel clean. Bacteria are actually responsible for dental plaque, too. Plaque is essentially a byproduct of bacteria chewing away at the sugar and carbohydrates you eat on a daily basis. And since bacteria does a great job of hiding between your teeth, this is often where people start to lose that clean feeling after visiting a dentist.

Hand Washing Comparison

Think about this for a second. If you brush your teeth daily but don't floss, your teeth aren't getting as clean as they should. You probably know that already, but try and think of it in another way.

Imagine for a moment that you go through your daily life only cleaning the back and front of your hands, but never between your fingers. No matter what you've touched, you don't clean that area. Chances are your fingers would feel dirty, sticky, and miserable in no time, and you definitely wouldn't want to touch anything important while your hands were like that. In fact, you'd probably be worried about the risk of bacteria spreading all over your hands.

The reality is, that's exactly what happens with teeth when you don't floss them. As long as the area between your teeth remains filled with plaque and bacteria that are allowed to do their thing unchecked, the bacteria will gradually spread and expand its plaque, making your teeth feel less clean in the process.

What to Do Now

The next time you go to your dentist's office, promise yourself to start a new flossing habit the same day. When you're ready for the evening, floss your teeth before you brush. That's it! A minute or two of flossing before brushing will dramatically extend how long your teeth feel clean, and you'll be able to rest easier knowing that you're no longer at as high a risk of gum disease and cavities.

For more information about dental cleanings,  contact your dentist.