Is Flossing or Brushing More Important?

When it comes to dental habits that are important for kids to learn, there are pretty much two key things that all dentists agree are more important than everything else: flossing and brushing. Ever since we were kids, we’ve all been told to make sure that we floss everyday, and brush twice a day. Admittedly, this has led to most people brushing fairly regularly, but flossing over periodically. Is this a good thing? If we absolutely had to forego one dental habit, should it be flossing or brushing? Which is actually more beneficial? Here’s some information on that.

What flossing and brushing each do

Brushing your teeth helps clear the surface area on the back and front of your teeth. For this reason, it is the most apparently beneficial dental habit, as it contributes to a healthy and clean smile that we get to look at in the mirror, every day. Flossing, on the other hand, gets into the spaces between your teeth and cleans the bacteria that your toothbrush can’t get to. This prevents plaque buildup on the sides of your teeth from decaying towards the center of each tooth.

Flossing is actually more important

While brushing your teeth covers more surface area of your teeth, flossing is actually the more important thing to do, regularly. Because the front of our teeth are exposed, often, it means that there is friction there that is still preventing some plaque from being left to its own devices. On the other hand, when it comes to flossing, most of that plaque buildup on the sides of your teeth is never going to be cleaned or moved unless you get in there and floss it yourself. Because of this, flossing is more crucial for your long-term dental health and to prevent gum disease.

Both are crucial for dental hygiene

While flossing might be a bit more important, if you had to pick one, brushing and flossing are both absolutely essential for proper dental health. Doing both of these things everyday drastically reduces the chances of gum disease and tooth decay, which lowers the risk of heart disease and diabetes.