Brushing Alone Isn’t Enough
Interdental cleaning, more commonly known as flossing, helps remove the food debris and bacteria that collects between the teeth. Dental floss and other interdental cleaners can get into those hard-to-reach tooth surfaces that toothbrush bristles simply can’t reach. Getting rid of food debris and bacteria reduces the likelihood of gum disease and tooth decay by removing contaminants before they have the chance to harden into plaque.
Plaque that is not removed from the spaces in between teeth can harden into tartar, a hard mineral deposit that can be removed through professional cleaning. When plaque forms, brushing and cleaning between teeth becomes more difficult, especially for kids, and gum tissue can become swollen and may even bleed. This condition is called gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. For this reason, flossing is one of the most critical parts of oral healthcare.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. It’s important to note that it is alright to brush first and then floss or vice versa. All that matters is that flossing occurs once a day without fail.
While some people prefer to floss before bedtime, others prefer to floss in the morning or after lunch. All of these times are completely fine as long as flossing becomes part of the daily routine. Establishing this routine early on is very important for kids – they need to understand just how vital flossing is to maintaining healthy smiles.