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Why should I bother flossing?

Patients sometimes ask us why they should floss if they brush thoroughly twice a day. In today's post, our Burnaby dentists explain why taking the time to check flossing off your to-do list is helpful your at-home oral hygiene routine. 

Everyone wants their smile to look its best — and keep their grin healthy for as long as possible. While regular visits to your dentists for cleanings and checkups are helpful, a solid at-home dental care routine is also essential. 

At-Home Dental Hygiene

Brushing your teeth thoroughly for two minutes at least twice a day, and flossing once a day are the key to a good at-home oral hygiene routine.

Our Burnaby dentists know that some of our patients who do a great job brushing their teeth, skip the flossing stage because they think that brushing is sufficient for keeping their smile healthy. 

But flossing performs a function that your toothbrush just can't achieve. Approximately 1/3 of each tooth's surface is difficult to reach with a toothbrush. When you skip flossing, those hard-to-reach places just aren't getting the cleaning that they need to stay their healthiest.

Flossing helps you to remove plaque and bacteria from those tight spaces between your teeth, and at your gum line where your toothbrush doesn't clean as well.


During the course of the day a sticky film of plaque, builds up on our teeth. Plaque can quickly harden into tartar, lead to cavities, or get under your gum line and cause periodontal disease.


If plaque isn't removed from your teeth regularly, it quickly hardens and becomes tartar. In fact, it takes as little as 36 hours for plaque to become tartar!   

Once the plaque has turned into tartar it's far more difficult to remove from your teeth. Typically tartar needs to be removed by a dental professional during a hygiene cleaning appointment.

Simply by flossing daily you can help to prevent plaque from building up in the tight spaces between your teeth and hardening into tartar. Less tartar means less scraping the next time you visit your dental office for a cleaning, and less chance of developing tooth decay, cavities, or gum disease.

Flossing every day is a quick and easy way to keep your smile healthy and to save time the next time you head to your dental hygienist for a cleaning.

If you'd like to learn more about the benefits of flossing, contact your Burnaby dentist to book an appointment today.

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