Orono Dental Care

Do you really need to floss?

September 29, 2016
Posted By: Dr. Brianna Berg
Flossing is an important part of your daily oral hygiene regimen.

The short answer is YES

Despite the recent news stories that said flossing wasn't necessary, there are many reasons why flossing is an essential part of your daily oral hygiene regimen.


Eating and drinking sugary foods causes a buildup of plaque on all surfaces of your teeth - including between them. By only brushing, you are missing out on cleaning 40% of your tooth's surface area. YIKES! There are two major impacts all of that plaque has on your mouth. 

1) Plaque can harden over time when minerals from your saliva interact with it. Hardened plaque, or calculus, are irritating to the gums and bone and can cause issues like bad breath, bleeding/puffy gums, and the loss of gum and bone support around your teeth aka gum disease!

2) Plaque contains bacteria that produce acids that eat away at your tooth. Over time, this causes a cavity to form.

I don't like using floss. Is there something else I can do instead?

Yes! There are many ways to remove plaque from between your teeth. Some of our favorites are floss picks, water flossers like the WaterPik, and interdental cleaners like OpalPix. Whatever it takes to get you cleaning between your teeth, we're on board.

When should I floss?

There is about a 50/50 divide among dental professionals on whether flossing should take place before or after tooth brushing. Regardless of timing, the key is to just do it. Find a time each day when it's easy to take a few extra minutes and devote them to good oral hygiene. Some people like going to bed with a clean tooth feeling (like me! I like to take floss picks to bed with me) while others are too tired at night to floss so morning might be a better time for them. Whatever the time of day, pick one and try to stick to it. 

So, how's your technique?



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