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Why Is Flossing So Important?

It’s no secret that flossing is important for maintaining dental hygiene. But what exactly does flossing do for your teeth and gums?

Flossing removes plaque from your teeth. Plaque is a film of bacteria that forms on your teeth and gums. Plague can harden into tartar if not removed, leading to cavities and gum disease. Flossing also helps to prevent gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums caused by plaque buildup. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease.

Benefits of flossing:

  • Helps remove food particles and plaque between teeth and along the gum line where your toothbrush can’t quite reach
  • Better removal of bad breath-causing bacteria than brushing alone
  • Removal of plaque from below the gumline, which can erode tooth enamel and develop into tartar (can cause teeth discoloration)
  • Reduce the risk of cavities
  • Reduces the likelihood of soreness, puffiness, and unsightly redness of the gums
  • Helps prevent gingivitis, which can progress to periodontitis

When should you floss?

At least once per day, preferably before bedtime.
Floss before brushing to ensure the loosened particles are cleaned away from the mouth

What kinds of floss are there?

  • Waxed and un-waxed thread (most common types)
  • Super floss (most beneficial to those with orthodontic braces, bridges, and wide gaps between teeth)
  • Floss picks (convenient for traveling or flossing on the go)
  • Air flossers (use air pressure to push out debris between the teeth)
  • Water flosser (use water pressure to flush out debris between the teeth)