Is flossing more important than brushing? A week ago, I would have rolled my eyes and emphatically said ‘No way!’ Well here I am, having to eat my words, and floss after all! In my defense, many feel this way – that brushing is more important. A suggestion to the contrary upsets our set thinking and habits. Yet, flossing is more important. But remember, even if this is so, do not throw away that brush yet. Brushing is important too and dentists recommend that you brush twice a day. Having said that, let us raise arguments in favor of flossing.
Reaches the Unreachable
When you brush your teeth, you are able to clean around 60% of your teeth surface. The rest is hard to reach with your toothbrush. Cleaning the area between the teeth is an impossible task, no matter how fine the bristles or flexible the neck of the toothbrush. Reports suggest all major oral problems are a result of this. Tooth picking or brushing immediately after a meal can help you take out 80% of food particles from your mouth. However, if a small food particle lodges between your teeth, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria – translated as cavities and gum disease. With floss, you can be sure you reach and dislodge every tenacious bit of food, gaining major points in oral health.
Plagues the Plaque
Plaque is nothing but a thin film deposit on your teeth that may not be easily visible. Apart from helping breed bacteria, plaque is also associated with gum disease and some studies suggest even heart attacks. Yes, you heard it right – heart attacks. Your teeth have blood vessels that run through your heart; plaque can get transported through these vessels and start accumulating in the arteries causing it to swell and potentially lead to cardiovascular problems. Flossing regularly can help you scrub out that plaque and help add years to your life. The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends flossing with 18 inches of dental floss, so you can use a clean section on each tooth.
As the above evidence suggests, brushing your teeth is essential but flossing wins hands down when it comes to a more complete cleaning.
The defense rests, your Honor.