Which one is more important?

Oral health is very important to your general health and well-being. The Indian Dental Association (IDA) advises you to brush your teeth for 2-3 minutes, twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. The IDA also recommends flossing at least once in a day. But the question is 'brushing or flossing - which one is more important'?

Brushing vs. flossing

Brushing and Flossing are both important for your oral health. Both can be done together. “Flossing and brushing isn’t really an either/or equation for optimum health. However, if you had to pick one, flossing is more important than brushing if done correctly. The goal of flossing and brushing is to remove plaque. Plaque consists of active colonies of destructive bacteria and food debris, which basically eat and then excrete acid on our teeth. Brushing only removes plaque from the front and back surfaces of your teeth.

Flossing, on the other hand, allows you to remove plaque from between and around your teeth and underneath the gums. These hard-to-reach spots are where the most destructive microbes living. Failure to remove plaque from these areas can cause gum disease, such as gingivitis.


To take full advantage of flossing, you need to first learn the correct way to how to floss.“Proper flossing involves wrapping the floss in a ‘c-shape,’ and covering as much possible as the surface area of the tooth. You should cover about half the diameter of the tooth from each angle to clean. Make sure to move the floss up and down along the outer surface and under the gum tissue. 

This way, the floss will clean plaque from both the outer and inner surfaces of your teeth, as well as beneath the gum tissue. While brushing and flossing may sound simple, a study suggested that most people significantly neglect brushing oral surfaces and use floss insufficiently. Regular flossing can also help limit the development of cavities or gum disease, but you must make it a habit. According to a study, proper dental flossing relies greatly on self-monitoring and its correct use.

Flossing and your health

Not only can proper oral hygiene help keep your breath fresh, your cavity free teeth and gums healthy, it may also help prevent periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, in turn, is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes and many more. Because of this, practicing good oral hygiene may help keep more than just your mouth and body healthy. Next time you reach for your toothbrush, remember to reach for your floss also. The simple habit of flossing at least once a day may improve not only your smile but your overall health too.