Flossing is a major component in oral hygiene. If plaque is allowed to build up on teeth and along the gum line, decay and gum disease can develop. Medical washing, tooth brushing, and teeth cleaning (flossing and using other devices including interdental brushes) has been shown to disturb and remove plaque.

Interdental cleaners, such as floss, are an integral part of taking care of your teeth and gums, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Cleaning between teeth removes plaque from areas where a toothbrush can not reach can lead to cavities or gum disease. It is known that interdental cleaning helps remove debris between teeth that can lead to plaque buildup.

Plaque can contain more than 500 bacterial species; some are good and some are bad for your mouth. The plaque deposition around the teeth and on the gum line may lead to disease in teeth and gums, along with food waste, water and other materials.

Whether you’re using floss or another interdental cleaner is personal preference, but understanding the right technique for each tool is very important to make it effective. Patients should discuss how to use interdental cleaners to ensure effectiveness with their dentists.

The American Dental Association continues to recommend brushing with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes twice day, washing the teeth once day with an interdental cleaner, and regular dental appointments prescribed by the dentist.