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Some people may think of flossing as an extra step to their dental health routine, but experts say it is one of the most important elements of dental hygiene.
According to research published in the Academy of General Dentistry's newsmagazine AGD Impact, flossing may be the single best step you can take to prevent gum disease.
Gum disease is a dental health condition caused by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Brushing can remove these bacteria from the surface of teeth, while flossing targets areas a brush can't reach between teeth and at the gum line.
"Flossing every 24 hours to break up plaque is imperative for good oral health," explained AGD spokesperson Dr Gordon Isbell.
In addition to reducing the risk of gum disease, flossing can help polish teeth and fight bad breath.
The American Dental Association suggests using around 18 inches of floss each time, curving it into a C shape and rubbing it gently against the inside edge of each tooth.
Dental floss can be waxed or unwaxed, and may even come in a variety of flavors.
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