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Flossing is every bit as important as brushing when it comes to taking care of your teeth. If you don’t floss, you are not cleaning about 35 percent of the surfaces of your teeth. And that is a quite a bit of real estate for plaque and tartar to build new homes.

You do have choices when it comes to flossing. No, you don’t really don’t have a choice to floss or not. Well, you do, but opt out at your own risk. Basic dental floss comes in two varieties: nylon and monofilament. Monofilament may be the better choice since it is less prone to shred when you use it. Beyond that, there are waxed an unwaxed varieties. You may find that waxed floss proves easier to slide between your teeth and around your dental work. Floss also comes in flavors, such as mint or cinnamon. It tastes a little better, and it might help your breath a bit.

If you have significant spaces between your teeth, you might find that dental tape does a better job with cleaning the sides of your teeth than dental floss. Along those same lines, braces, bridges and other dental work may make it frustrating to try and floss. If this is the case for you, you might talk to our dentist about using other tools, such a floss threader, floss pick or interdental brush. If you have trouble holding your arms up, or if you have range-of-motion issues, you might try a water flosser.

Oh, and it doesn’t matter if you floss before brushing or brush before flossing. You just have to do a good job of both. The most important thing may be that you clean between your teeth! If you have questions about what method would work best for you, our dentist, Dr. Alan and Cory Andrews, can answer them. After all, they probably knows your mouth better than you do! If you live in the Colorado Springs, Colorado, area, you can call 719-599-7453 to schedule your visit to Crabtree Dental Center.