Having neatly, evenly-spaced teeth is symmetrical and pleasing to look at. Unfortunately, teeth that start out that way don't necessarily stay that way. While bad habits like chewing your nails and smoking cigarettes can change the alignment of your teeth significantly, they're not the only things that can lead to gapping between teeth. If you're not a habitual flosser, you might end up developing space between your teeth that wasn't there before. Here's why.

Brushing Can't Reach it All

As you've probably been told by a dentist at least once, brushing your teeth isn't sufficient for keeping them safe from plaque and bacteria. This is because toothbrushes don't do a great job of getting the bristles between teeth and removing plaque and bacteria from between them. There simply isn't enough space for toothbrush bristles to fit through.

As a result, if you don't floss your teeth, plaque and bacteria accumulate between your teeth, even if the rest of them are kept nice and clean.

Erosion Effect

As you probably know, bacteria and plaque can lead to cavities. However, even if you don't get to that level, these two problems can still wear away at your teeth over time.

Over the long term, plaque - and later, tartar - can cause erosion of enamel. This wears away at the one layer of protection that your teeth have from the outside elements. The enamel layer is actually thick enough that a tooth that has worn-away enamel next to one that doesn't may look different. Ragged edges, narrowing, and a general roughness to the appearance of teeth can all be done by plaque and tartar.

Long-Term Results

If you don't floss for a long period of time, it's entirely possible for your teeth to have their edges worn away by built-up plaque and tartar. Here's the worst part: you might not even realize it until you have your teeth professionally cleaned.

Tartar and plaque do an excellent job of sticking to the surfaces of teeth. This means that some of what looks like tooth to you in the mirror when you take a quick glance might actually be plaque or tartar. As a result, when your teeth are professionally cleaned and this substance is stripped away, your teeth may seem like they have more space between them than they used to.

Over time, the plaque and tartar that are allowed to develop when you don't floss can actually narrow and damage your teeth. Don't let this happen to you. Start flossing regularly today.

To get your teeth professional cleaned, see your local dentist today, one like Desert Dental: Ruintan Kamran D.M.D..