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Yes, You Really Do Need to Take the Extra Minute to Floss

March 30, 2011 | Posted in Education | Be the first one to comment

Did you know that some studies have shown that the average person only brushes his/her teeth for 37 seconds at a time? If you are one of those people, we have to ask you to think about how clean you can get your teeth in 37 seconds?

Odds are, anything you clean around the house, you spend more than 37 seconds doing it. Certainly many people will spend more time than that cleaning their kitchen sinks and counters. Of course, we know it is important to make sure you do not allow bacteria to build up in those very areas you will be preparing your food.

So based on that logic, you should also be just as concerned about removing bacteria from the area of that mouth the food enters  into your body. In fact, we recommend nothing less than two minutes should be spent brushing your teeth.

Then you need to remember that brushing, no matter how thoroughly, is simply not sufficient to ensure that you have properly cleaned your teeth. In fact, the best job you can do brushing your teeth will only succeed in cleaning, at most, 65% of the surface area of your teeth.

The reason for this is simply. Approximately 35% of the surface area of your teeth is found in the spaces between your teeth. Your toothbrush simply cannot access these areas effectively. To make sure you get at this 35% of the tooth, you need to make sure you take the time to floss every day!

Think about it…you need not feel good preparing your meals on counters that were only 65% clean. Imagine all the potential bacteria that could get into your food that way.

Now think about the bacteria that will build up on your teeth if you leave 35% of the surface area unclean. No matter how effectively you clean the rest of the tooth, bacteria will build up between them. The longer it is allowed to remain, the more damage it will do.

Plaque will develop and it will spread.  Bacteria will attack the gums, likely leading to gum disease which is a leading cause of tooth loss amongst adults. You might even develop more serious health complications, including infections in the bloodstream, asthma, or even heart disease.

The simple act of adding flossing to your regular oral health care routine, combined with brushing for at least two minutes, is all that you need to do in order to reduce the risks of these serious health complications. We understand that we are asking you to commit more than 37 seconds to your routine. But you have to ask yourself…isn’t your health worth it!

We believe it is! We believe YOU are worth the investment! You deserve the best in oral health care for yourself! That means proper brushing and flossing. It also means regular visits to the dentist to confirm your oral health in being properly maintained.

So invest the time in yourself! Because recognizing you deserve the best in oral health care is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. Bao Nguyen

Dental Surgeon


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