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After a very long and tiring day, if ever you’re tempted to just quickly brush your teeth and fall into bed, consider this: where the brush removes plaque from the easy-to-reach surfaces of the teeth, it’s the floss that cleans out food particles stuck between teeth where a brush can’t ever reach, making it equally as important as brushing.

Those who floss inconsistently might occasionally experience some bleeding or pain. Imagine that flossing is like exercise for the gums: the more we do it, the more our gums strengthen and adapt to the floss. It’s very important to keep at it- with regular flossing, your gums will become stronger and the pain and bleeding will cease.

If the food nestled in the tight dark spaces between teeth is left to decompose there, it causes bad breath, cavities, and inflamed or infected gums. Devices such as water picks, toothpicks, and mouthwashes are good supplements, but in the end, there is no substitute for flossing. It only takes once a day to keep your mouth clean and healthy.