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Floss… or die…

Okay…so the heading might be a tad dramatic and please don’t take the threat literally. However let’s consider the facts and the truth is that not flossing has been linked with an increased risk of developing systemic diseases.

We understand that there are 5 tooth surfaces per tooth. (figure below)

tooth surfaces diagram

Tooth brushing alone will eliminate the plaque (bacteria) build up on 3 of the 5 surfaces. The remaining 2 surfaces that sit against other teeth will not be accessible by your tooth brush bristles. Oral bacteria can travel through the blood stream to affect other areas of the body. It is for that reason, that we as dentists, emphasise the importance of good oral hygiene through regular brushing and flossing (and tongue cleaning) to minimise the risks of developing systemic conditions.