Flossing IS Really That Important
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When you go to the dentist for a cleaning, you are going to hear it: “Are you flossing?” “Don’t forget to floss.”
Despite these questions and free advice, studies continually show that not enough of us floss on a regular basis.
So, is flossing still that important? Oral hygiene experts say, “Yes”.
Should we listen to them? Yes.
Toothbrushes can’t get everywhere. Flosses are an interdental cleaner. This basically means they get between our teeth. Plaque can find great places to hide between teeth. Mouthwash gets in between teeth and kills bacteria but it can’t get in and remove tartar and food particles that get in teeth.
It’s not an either-or when it comes to brushing and flossing. Both should be part of your daily dental hygiene routine. Floss is designed specifically to get in between teeth and gums, the spots that cannot be reached with a toothbrush.
There is also the question of when to floss. The American Dental Association recommends flossing BEFORE brushing your teeth. This helps remove plaque between your teeth. Less plaque means the fluoride in your toothpaste can get to more parts of your teeth and gums.
Flossing also protects your gums and helps prevent gingivitis. Floss does a great job of cleaning the areas where teeth and gums meet. Unremoved plaque in these areas will harden over time and form tartar, the thick deposit on teeth that can only be removed by a scraper during your next dental visit. No one likes the scraper and regular flossing reduces the need for it.
If you have questions about flossing or what is the best floss (waxed, unwaxed) for your teeth, ask your dentist.