If you were painting your house, would you be OK to paint only the front and back of the house while leaving the sides? Probably not. When we brush our teeth, our toothbrush can only clean 2 sides of the tooth, leaving the interproximal surfaces untouched. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try, our toothbrush just cannot get in between our teeth.
How do we clean in between then? With floss – surprise! Most of us have probably heard the unending reminder of “you need to floss more” or “make sure you floss every day”. Plaque is always accumulating, especially around and underneath the gums. Leaving plaque undisturbed in the area will lead to gingivitis, and sometimes it can lead to irreversible periodontal disease. Some early signs of gingivitis are bad breath, bleeding and red gums.
Therefore, it is crucial we use something, other than our toothbrush, to remove plaque in between our teeth and underneath our gums. Floss is not the only tool we can use to clean in between – try an interproximal brush! Many prefer to use little brushes instead of the traditional floss (see below).
Talk to your dental professional about which tool is best suited for your oral care routine.
And of course, happy flossing!