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We all know to brush our teeth, twice a day, for two minutes each session. We know that brushing removes plaque from teeth, keeping them healthy and strong, so we brush. But when it comes to flossing, some of us struggle to keep the habit. Why? Lets review the hows and whys of flossing, as well as introduce some alternatives you may not have known about.

If you want a healthy mouth, interdental cleaning is important. Unfortunately, toothbrushes have a hard time getting in between teeth sufficiently. Dental floss, however, can reach places your toothbrush can’t get to, for example, between teeth and behind back molars.

It is important to clean between your teeth in order to prevent plaque buildup. If plaque builds up, it can lead to inflamed gums, cavities or even gum disease. Advanced gum disease (called periodontitis) can involve oral problems such as tooth loss, halitosis and loss of supporting bone structure.

If you struggle with traditional flossing on a daily basis, there are alternatives for you. It could be as simple as using a pre-strung flosser, or using floss especially designed for sensitive gums. If these don’t solve your problem, there are other alternatives, such as a specially designed dental pick (not a standard wooden toothpick), or a water flosser. These alternative are great for those with shaky hands, arthritis, a sensitive gag reflex or other problems that can make it difficult to floss.

For more information, call Mid-Valley Dental Care in Northridge, California, at 818-886-3500. Dr. Terence Lau and our team look forward to making your smile shine!