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To Floss or Not to Floss

Posted Jul 16 2010 12:20pm

Every time we go to the dentist we get reminded about the importance of flossing our teeth.   But is it really that big of a deal?   I mean, can’t you just use mouthwash or brush regularly and maintain a healthy smile?   Unfortunately, there’s no way around the need to floss.   The diagram below will help you see why:

Colonies of bacteria collect between teeth and begin to multiply.   These cannot be dislodged by simply brushing or rinsing with mouthwash.   Flossing between teeth is the ONLY way to disrupt these colonies of bacteria.   If allowed to grow unchecked, the bacteria can cause tooth decay and gum disease.   Flossing also has these important benefits:

·        It dislodges plaque between the teeth that can lead to tooth decay

·        It helps prevent bad breath

·        It helps remove plaque before it hardens to form tartar

·        It helps keep your gums from becoming inflamed, which leads to periodontal disease


 So, no matter how good you are at brushing and rinsing, you still can’t get out of flossing!   For tips on how to floss correctly, check out  

Dr. Marshall Fields is a cosmetic and family dentist located near Irmo in Columbia, SC.   He has been in practice over 20 years, and he is committed to giving his patients the most advanced care available and the most comfortable experience possible.   For more information about Dr. Fields, visit


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