Four reasons you should brush and floss

Category: Healthier

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A survey by the New Zealand Ministry of Health found that while the health of our teeth has improved, we still have room to improve.

The survey found that about two in three adults brush their teeth twice daily; however, less than one in two children and adolescents brushed twice daily with standard fluoride toothpaste, as per the Ministry recommendations.

We asked some dental professionals why it's so important to brush twice a day and floss daily, here is what they had to say:

1. Flossing can help reduce gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath

"Nearly half of the surface area of your teeth lies between them," says a spokesperson for the Australian Dental Association (ADA), who represent Australian and New Zealand dentists. "Therefore if you’re solely relying on brushing, you’re not cleaning a large portion of your teeth effectively, which in turn can negatively affect the health of your teeth and gums. Flossing helps remove the plaque and food from between your teeth, which can assist in the prevention of gum disease, tooth decay, and halitosis (otherwise known as “bad breath”).

Flossing should be an essential part of your oral care routine, and not some kind of optional extra.

2. Helps keep your teeth white

According to the ADA, brushing your teeth twice a day with a dentist-approved toothpaste can help get rid of certain foods and drinks such as coffee, tea and red wine that can stain your teeth if left to build up.

3. Helps remove bacteria in your mouth

According to the ADA, the bacteria from your mouth can spread through your bloodstream or can be aspirated into the lungs. By brushing and flossing regularly, you'll help remove bacteria from your teeth and gums.

4. You'll have better breath

Bad breath (or halitosis) can be caused by poorly cleaned teeth and tooth and gum disease says the New Zealand Dental Association. By brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day, you'll help reduce your chances of bad breath.

Other factors such as diet, lifestyle habits (such as smoking) or sinusitis can also cause bad breath so speak to your dentist who may be able to help.

Making brushing and flossing part of your daily dental hygiene habits you'll be more likely to have a healthier, whiter and more attractive smile and teeth.

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