Toothbrush bristles can only reach about two-thirds of our teeth. They can’t access the areas between our teeth or under the gumline, where food debris and plaque accumulate. We need to floss to reach these places, which make up 35% of our tooth surfaces. Flossing helps prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.

Not only is it important to floss, but it’s also essential to make sure you’re flossing correctly. Just putting the floss between your teeth and pulling it out doesn’t accomplish as much as you might think. Instead, move the floss in a curved C-shape around your teeth, then sweep it up and down, including beneath the gumline, to clean off plaque. You should do this in both directions and between every pair of teeth.

Remember, flossing shouldn’t hurt, so try to be thorough but gentle. If you find flossing difficult, you may want to try other options like water flossers or floss picks. If you’re not sure where to start, we’re always here to help!