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How often do I need to floss for my dental health?

ANSWER

There's no getting around the need to get around your teeth daily with dental floss. It clears food and plaque from between teeth and under the gumline. If you don't, plaque hardens into tartar, which forms wedges and widens the space between teeth and gums, causing pockets. Over time, gums pull away and teeth loosen.

Either waxed or unwaxed floss will do the job. Using floss picks or interdental brushes is another easy option.

From: FAQ About Dental Health WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Dental Association: "Toothbrushes," "Floss/Interdental Cleaners," "Mouthwash (Mouthrinse)," "Fluoride: Topical and Systemic Supplements," Dental Sealants," "Statement on the Safety and Effectiveness of Tooth Whitening Products."

Mouth Healthy: "Top Ten Dental Symptoms," "6 Habits That Harm Your Teeth (And How to Break Them)."

Cleveland Clinic: "Dental Check-Up," "Dental X-rays," Dental Bonding," "Could You Be Ruining Your Teeth With These 5 Bad Habits?"

KnowYourTeeth: "Children's Dental Visits: Parents, Prepare Yourselves."

Campaign for Dental Health: "Is Fluoride Safe?"

CDC: "Children's Oral Health," "Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities."

Mayo Clinic: "Cavities/tooth decay."

Journal of the American Dental Association : "When a filling needs to be replaced."

Reviewed by Alfred D. Wyatt Jr. on June 14, 2018

SOURCES:

American Dental Association: "Toothbrushes," "Floss/Interdental Cleaners," "Mouthwash (Mouthrinse)," "Fluoride: Topical and Systemic Supplements," Dental Sealants," "Statement on the Safety and Effectiveness of Tooth Whitening Products."

Mouth Healthy: "Top Ten Dental Symptoms," "6 Habits That Harm Your Teeth (And How to Break Them)."

Cleveland Clinic: "Dental Check-Up," "Dental X-rays," Dental Bonding," "Could You Be Ruining Your Teeth With These 5 Bad Habits?"

KnowYourTeeth: "Children's Dental Visits: Parents, Prepare Yourselves."

Campaign for Dental Health: "Is Fluoride Safe?"

CDC: "Children's Oral Health," "Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities."

Mayo Clinic: "Cavities/tooth decay."

Journal of the American Dental Association : "When a filling needs to be replaced."

Reviewed by Alfred D. Wyatt Jr. on June 14, 2018

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How does a rinse or mouthwash help with my dental health?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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