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Though some have debated the importance of interdental cleaning in the recent months, we know that flossing remains an indispensable part of a complete oral hygiene routine. Let’s take a look at a few common questions we are asked about flossing.

What is flossing, and why is it important?

Flossing is the most common method of interdental cleaning, that is, cleaning between your teeth. Brushing cleans plaque and debris off of the surfaces of your teeth; flossing removes plaque from spaces your toothbrush can’t reach, like in between teeth and behind your back molars. Plaque is a biofilm made of living bacteria, which eat away at your enamel. Plaque buildup can also lead to gum disease.

How often should I floss?

You should floss once every day. Flossing should take a total of about two to three minutes. It doesn’t matter if you floss after you brush or before, as long as both get done.

Can’t I just use mouthwash instead?

No. Mouthwash is not an effective substitute for flossing, though it does bring its own benefits to a highly effective oral health routine.

If traditional flossing is hard for you, there are alternatives. Pre-strung flossers can be a great option. If you floss regularly, but your gums still get irritated or bleed when you floss, floss designed for sensitive gums may be a good alternative. Water flossers are also an effective option, especially if your have trouble maneuvering traditional dental floss. A water flosser is a device which shoots high-powered streams of water or saline into your mouth to clean away plaque and debris.

For more information, call North Forest Family Dental Care in The Woodlands, Texas, at 936-271-3338. Drs. Lara-Perdue and Kennedy are happy to help you get the smile you want!