Good oral hygiene is an important part of your overall health, and can also allow you to greet the world with a big healthy smile. By making regular tooth brushing and flossing a priority, you’ll reap long-term benefits of reducing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. The American Dental Association recommends tooth brushing twice a day, along with daily flossing, to help promote oral health.
Remember that just brushing your teeth isn’t enough. Both brushing and flossing are important because they help promote oral health in different ways.
Why you need to brush: Tooth brushing with fluoride toothpaste helps control plaque, which is the residue that can build up on teeth. Be sure to replace your toothbrush (or toothbrush head if you use an electric brush) every three to four months.
Why you need to floss: Flossing is important because proper flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from those spaces between the teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. So if all you do is brush, you’re missing an opportunity to promote not only healthy teeth, but also healthy gums. Research shows that regular flossing can reduce the risk of developing gum disease.
Consistency is what counts. Find the toothbrush and floss you prefer, and get kids their favorite colors and characters to encourage good brushing habits. There’s a toothbrush and type of floss for everyone, so there is no reason to shy away from complete oral care.