How important is flossing? According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), flossing is the single most important weapon against plaque.
Floss removes plaque and debris that sticks to teeth and gums, polishes tooth surfaces and controls bad breath. By flossing your teeth daily, you increase the chances of keeping them for a lifetime and decrease the chances of getting gum disease.
Most people cite lack of time as a reason for not flossing. However, flossing even two or three times a week has benefits and is far better than not flossing at all.
Whether waxed or unwaxed, flavored or unflavored, wide or regular size, floss of any type helps clean and remove plaque. Here are some tips about the characteristics of different types of flosses:
Which type you use depends upon your mouth, personal preference and dentist's recommendation.
Some people substitute water picks, which shoot jets of water between the teeth, for flossing, but that's not always a good idea. Unlike flossing, water picks do not remove plaque. They are effective if you have orthodontic braces, which may retain food in areas a toothbrush cannot reach.
Repeat this technique on all of your teeth, including the teeth in back.
Last updated October 12, 2021
The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.