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Brushing Is Only Half of the Daily Oral Health Equation: Here's Why You Shouldn't Skip Flossing

Brushing Is Only Half of the Daily Oral Health Equation: Here's Why You Shouldn't Skip Flossing

Taking care of your teeth combines proper hygiene and routine checkups to detect and treat problems as they arise. Optimal nutrition, brushing twice daily, and dental cleanings are just some of the things necessary to keep your teeth healthy and avoid conditions like gum disease, bad breath, cavities, and oral cancer.

While at-home brushing is a vital part of dental care, flossing is often overlooked. But it’s not something you should skip. 

Let’s look at what flossing is, its significance, and how often you should do it to protect your teeth. If you live in Mamaroneck, New York, or Stamford, Connecticut, and struggle with optimal dental hygiene, Dr. Gennadiy Kravets and his experienced medical staff at All Bright Dental can help.

What is flossing?

Flossing uses dental tape or interdental cleaners to remove food and other particles caught between the teeth and gums. The floss is a thin string made from nylon or plastic that fits between teeth. Floss may be waxed or unwaxed, and it can be flavored to make the experience more pleasant. Flossing can also be performed with other products, such as floss threaders, floss holders, and floss picks. 

Why is flossing so important?

Proper brushing eliminates plaque and bacteria from the front, back, and chewing surfaces of the teeth. However, it can’t reach between teeth. Therefore, if the particles are left, they can wear down the enamel and infect the teeth and gums. Flossing is vital for reaching those areas to keep them clean and prevent the risk of conditions like gum disease, cavities, bad breath, and even lower your risk of heart disease in the future.

How often should you floss?

The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests brushing twice daily and flossing once, which can be during your morning or evening tooth-cleaning routine. Flossing can also be done in the middle of your day when brushing may be less convenient. It’s also helpful to floss when food is stuck between teeth after a meal. As long as you’re doing it properly, it’s safe as many times as you feel you need to. While a study from 2018 indicates flossing should be done before brushing, the ADA says the order is unimportant so long as you do both regularly.

If you have questions or concerns about how to care for your teeth, make an appointment with Dr. Kravets and All Bright Dental today to find a solution that improves the health of your teeth.

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