It’s a common misconception that flossing is not as important as brushing when it comes to oral hygiene. In fact, the opposite is true – flossing is just as important, if not more so than brushing! It’s important to understand the difference between the two so that you can make sure you’re taking care of your teeth and gums in the best way possible.
In this article, we’ll explore the difference between brushing and flossing and why both are essential for keeping your smile healthy. So that the next time you reach for your toothbrush or floss, you’ll know exactly what you’re doing!
The Importance Of Oral Hygiene
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of brushing and flossing, let’s talk about why oral hygiene is so important. Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria – some good and some bad. The good bacteria help to break down food and protect your teeth from the bad bacteria. However, bad bacteria can cause tooth decay and gum disease if they’re not kept in check.
That’s why it’s so important to practice good oral hygiene habits, like brushing and flossing, to keep the bad bacteria at bay. And, as we’ll see, each one plays an important role in keeping your smile healthy.
What Are The Similarities Between Brushing And Flossing?
In this section, we’ll explore the similarities between brushing and flossing so that you can get a better understanding of how they work together to keep your smile healthy.
- Both brushing and flossing remove plaque from teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth and can lead to tooth decay and gum disease if it’s not removed.
- Both brushing and flossing help to prevent cavities. Cavities are caused by tooth decay, which is the result of plaque buildup.
- Both brushing and flossing help to keep your breath fresh. Bad bacteria in your mouth can cause bad breath. By removing the plaque that these bacteria thrive in, you can also remove the source of bad breath.
- Both brushing and flossing should be done at least twice a day. Once in the morning and once at night, before you go to bed.
As you can see, there are many similarities between brushing and flossing. But there are also some important differences that you should be aware of.
What Are The Differences Between Brushing And Flossing?
Now that we’ve looked at the similarities between brushing and flossing let’s take a closer look at the differences.
1. Brushing Only Cleans The Surfaces Of Your Teeth
No matter how well or how often you brush your teeth, brushing alone cannot clean between your teeth or below the gum line where plaque bacteria like to hide. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it can harden into tartar (calculus), which brushing cannot remove. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar.
Flossing removes plaque from between your teeth and below the gum line. A clean mouth means healthier gums and less chance of tooth decay and gum disease.
2. Flossing Reaches Places Your Toothbrush Can’t
Your toothbrush does a great job of cleaning the surfaces of your teeth, but it can’t clean between them. Plaque bacteria love to hide in these hard-to-reach places. Flossing gets rid of plaque and bacteria that your toothbrush can’t reach.
3. Flossing Is The Only Way To Clean Below The Gum Line
The gum line is where your teeth and gums meet. Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, constantly forms here. If not removed, plaque can harden and turn into tartar. Once tartar builds up, it’s much harder to remove and can lead to gum disease.
Flossing is the only way to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line. Brushing alone can’t reach these areas. That’s why it’s important to floss every day.
The best time to floss with your best water flosser is before you brush at night. This way, you remove plaque and food particles that have accumulated during the day.
4. Flossing Is Easy Once You Get The Hang Of It
Flossing may seem difficult at first, but it gets easier with practice. The more you floss, the easier it becomes. Soon, it will be part of your daily routine.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Use about 18 inches of floss. Wrap most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with.
- Gently guide the floss between your teeth using a back-and-forth motion.
- Be careful not to snap the floss into your gums.
- Curve the floss around the base of each tooth and under the gum line.
- Use a clean section of floss as you move from tooth to tooth.
- Don’t forget to floss behind your last tooth.
With a little practice, you’ll be a flossing pro in no time!
5. Brushing Can’t Replace Flossing
You’ve probably heard that brushing your teeth is the most important thing you can do for your dental health. And it’s true – to an extent. Brushing is extremely important and does a great job of removing plaque from your teeth.However, brushing can’t replace flossing.
Flossing is the only way to remove plaque from teeth and bacteria from between your teeth and below the gum line – areas that brushing can’t reach.
That’s why it’s important to brush AND floss every day. Brushing alone will leave some plaque behind, and over time that plaque can turn into tartar (hardened plaque) which can lead to gum disease. Flossing helps remove plaque and bacteria before it has a chance to turn into tartar, keeping your gums healthy.
These are just a few of the many differences between brushing and flossing. As you can see, both are important for keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy.
What Happens If You Don’t Brush Or Floss?
After reading about all the differences and similarities between brushing and flossing, you’re probably wondering what happens if you don’t do either one. The answer is – not good! If you don’t brush your teeth, plaque will build up on your teeth and turn into tartar. Tartar is a hard substance that can only be removed by a dental professional. If tartar is not removed, it can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
Not only is it important to brush your teeth, but you must also floss them on a daily basis. If you don’t floss, plaque will build up in between your teeth and around your gum line. This can also lead to gum disease and tooth decay. It’s best to floss at night before you go to bed so that the plaque has a chance to dissolve overnight.
What Type Of Toothbrush Is Best For Brushing?
Now that you know how important it is to brush your teeth, you’re probably wondering what type of toothbrush is best. There are many different types and styles of toothbrushes on the market, so it can be confusing trying to decide which one to buy. The most important thing to remember is to choose a toothbrush that is comfortable for you to use. There are three main types of toothbrushes: manual, electric, and battery-operated.
All three types of toothbrushes will do a good job of cleaning your teeth, so it’s really a matter of personal preference. If you have trouble reaching all of your teeth with a manual toothbrush, you may try an electric toothbrush or battery-operated toothbrush. These types of toothbrushes can be easier to use and may do a better job of cleaning your teeth.
No matter which type of toothbrush you choose, be sure to replace it every three to four months. The bristles on your toothbrush will start to wear down after a few months of use, and a new toothbrush will do a better job of cleaning your teeth.
How Often Should You Brush Your Teeth?
This is a common question that many people have. The answer is – it depends! The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day, but if you can brush more often, even better. If you eat sugary or acidic foods, it’s best to brush your teeth afterward to remove the plaque and bacteria that can cause tooth decay. It’s also important to brush your teeth before bedtime so that plaque has a chance to dissolve overnight.
The above mentioned differences between brushing and flossing are important to know. Both are necessary for keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy. Brushing removes plaque and bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth, while flossing cleans between the teeth and below the gum line. Be sure to brush twice a day for two minutes and floss once a day with any water flosser to keep your smile healthy and bright! And remember, if you have any questions about your oral health or dental hygiene, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist.