Why Brushing and Flossing Twice Daily Really Isn't Enough

Apr 04, 2024
Why Brushing and Flossing Twice Daily Really Isn't Enough
Elevate your oral hygiene game beyond just brushing and flossing! In our latest blog, discover the essential tips and additional steps you need for a truly healthy smile.

Think you’re giving your smile the luxury treatment by brushing and flossing twice daily? You’re not alone. We’ve all heard the mantra that brushing and flossing twice a day is the key to optimal oral health. While this advice is undoubtedly important, it may not be sufficient on its own to maintain a healthy smile.

At Kew Gardens Dental P.C., in the Kew Gardens neighborhood in Queens, New York, Bella Pinkatz, DDS, and our dedicated team are here to help you uncover why simply brushing and flossing twice daily really isn’t enough and what additional steps you can take to keep your teeth and gums in top condition. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

The limitations of brushing and flossing alone 

Although brushing and flossing are crucial parts of a healthy oral hygiene routine, they have their limitations. Here’s why they might not be enough on their own: 

Limited reach 

Despite your best efforts, it’s challenging to thoroughly clean every surface of your teeth and reach all the nooks and crannies between them with just a toothbrush and floss. 

Incomplete plaque removal 

Plaque, that sticky film of bacteria, can quickly build up on your teeth and gums. While brushing and flossing can remove plaque, they may not effectively eliminate it all, especially in those hard-to-reach areas. 

Neglected gum health 

Although flossing is essential for removing plaque and debris from between your teeth and along your gumline, many people simply neglect or forget to floss regularly, ultimately leading to gum disease and other oral health issues. 

Supplementing your oral care routine 

So, if brushing and flossing isn’t enough, what can you do to improve your oral health? To complement your current routine and ensure comprehensive oral hygiene, consider incorporating the following additional steps: 

Use mouthwash 

One addition to your oral hygiene routine we recommend is including a therapeutic mouthwash. This can help kill bacteria, freshen your breath, and reach areas that brushing and flossing might miss. 

Try interdental brushes 

Interdental brushes, also known as proxy brushes, are small, cone-shaped brushes designed to clean between your teeth and around dental work like braces or bridges. 

Invest in a water flosser 

Water flossers are especially effective as they use a stream of pressurized water to clean between your teeth and along your gumline, making them an excellent alternative if you struggle with traditional flossing. 

Schedule regular dental cleanings 

We can’t recommend this enough. Even with diligent at-home oral care, professional dental cleanings are essential for removing stubborn plaque and tartar buildup. This is how we can identify and address any emerging oral health issues as well. 

The importance of a balanced diet and lifestyle 

Along with taking your oral hygiene routine to the next level, it’s especially important to adopt a balanced diet and lifestyle as well. Here’s how your overall health can impact your oral health: 

Eat a nutrient-rich diet 

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can provide essential nutrients that support healthy teeth and gums. 

Limit sugary and acidic foods 

When in doubt, we always recommend avoiding surgery and acidic foods and beverages as they can contribute to tooth decay and enamel erosion over time. 

Avoid tobacco products

Smoking and using tobacco products increase the risk of tooth loss, gum disease, and oral cancer. Quitting or avoiding these habits is crucial for maintaining your oral health. 

So, while brushing and flossing twice daily are essential parts of good oral health, they might not be enough to get your smile to its best. By including more steps in your oral care routine and adopting a balanced diet and lifestyle, you can ensure comprehensive care for your teeth and gums. If you’re ready to learn more about your oral health, call our office at 518-757-0854 or request an appointment online.