Why do dentists say flossing is good for you?

Many dentists have said flossing can help remove plaque, food build-up between the teeth, reduce the risk of gingivitis, gum disease, and reduce the risk of tooth decay.

In its statement the ADA said: “Cleaning between teeth removes plaque that can lead to cavities or gum disease from the areas where a toothbrush can’t reach.

Interdental cleaning is proven to help remove debris between teeth that can contribute to plaque build-up.”

This advice is echoed by the UK’s National Health Service on its website: “Dental floss helps to prevent gum disease by getting rid of pieces of food and plaque from between your teeth.”

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Floss: verb uk ​ /flɒs/ us ​ /flɑːs/

to clean between your teeth using dental floss

Dental floss: a type of thread used for cleaning between the teeth:

‘’It’s important to floss every day.’’

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Plaque: noun uk ​ /plɑːk/ /plæk/ us ​ /plæk/

[ U ] a substance containing bacteria that forms on the surface of teeth

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Build-up:

A gradual accumulation or increase, typically of something negative that leads to a problem.

“the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere”

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Teeth: noun uk ​ /tiːθ/ us ​ /tiːθ/

​plural of tooth

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Gingivitis /ˌdʒɪndʒɪˈvʌɪtɪs/

inflammation of the gums.

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Gum: noun uk ​ /ɡʌm/ us ​ /ɡʌm/

either of the two areas of firm pink flesh inside the mouth that cover the bones into which the teeth are fixed

“a tooth broken off just above the gum”

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Tooth decay:

   decay of the outer surface of a tooth as a result of bacterial action.

   “proper oral hygiene practices will go a long way in the prevention of tooth decay”

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Cavity  /ˈkavɪti/

   a decayed part of a tooth.

   “most dentists fill cavities right away”

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Toothbrush: noun [ C ] uk ​ /ˈtuːθ.brʌʃ/ us ​ /ˈtuːθ.brʌʃ/

a small brush with a long handle, used for cleaning the teeth.

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Interdental cleaning: refers to cleaning between the teeth

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Debris: noun [ U ] uk ​ /ˈdeb.riː/ /ˈdeɪ.briː/ us ​ /dəˈbriː/

broken or torn pieces of something larger

‘’Debris from the aircraft was scattered over a large area.’’

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Echo: verb  /ˈɛkəʊ/

to express the ideas or feelings that someone else has expressed

‘’Her feelings are echoed by other parents whose kids have left home.’’

‘’Blake echoed the views of many players.’’

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Get rid of:

to remove something that you do not want any longer:

‘’I can’t wait to get rid of that ugly old couch.’’

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