Not Flossing Is Like Not Wiping "Down There": A Timeline of What Happens When You Don’t Floss by Dr. Tina Saw, DDS

Not Flossing Is Like Not Wiping "Down There": A Timeline of What Happens When You Don’t Floss

Do you floss? Apparently, 70 percent of Americans seem to think flossing is just an “extra”– and unnecessary step – in their oral hygiene routine. Not flossing is like not wiping your butt. You’re missing almost half of your mouth when you don’t floss, and it takes less than one day for it to become problematic and a health concern.

Here, I break down the timeline of what happens when you skip that “extra” step:

  • AFTER ONE DAY: It only takes 24 hours before plaque starts hardening, turning into tartar and calculus, and you can’t remove it on your own. Dental hygienists need to go in and remove it with a professional tool.
  • AFTER ONE WEEK: The tartar starts building up, solidifying in between your teeth, and your gums will recede and begin to grow around them. This is what causes the spaces – or black triangles – in between your teeth, and it’s hard for your gums to grow back into those spaces.
  • AFTER ONE OR MORE MONTHS: You’re at a greater risk of developing cavities. Everyone has a different pace, depending on the kind of bacteria in their mouth. But I’ve seen cavities form as quickly as three months just because they have poor saliva qualities.

Make today the day you start flossing – every day.

Note: The content on is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider. The opinions or views expressed on do not necessarily represent those of 30Seconds or any of its employees, corporate partners or affiliates.

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Donna John
Wow! Great information here. Thank goodness I am a flosser. I may miss a day every now and then, but think I do pretty good. Now I will try NEVER to miss a day! :) Dr. Tina Saw, DDS
Well that’s really gross. I’ll be sure to floss daily from now on.
I’m a flosser. Can’t stand the feeling of stuff between my teeth. Great info!

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