FROM THE DENTIST: The Truth About Flossing!

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Brought to you by Dr. Van Pelt

Dr. Erica Van Pelt is proud to return home to South Jersey to practice at Dental Arts Group Elmer. Dr. Van Pelt grew up in Burlington County, NJ and received her bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University,


Brushing teeth twice daily has long been considered the standard for healthy, cavity-free teeth. However, a lot of people have trouble finding the motivation to pick up the floss after brushing. Is it really necessary?

The American Dental Association maintains that flossing is an essential step in a successful oral hygiene routine.  Over 500 types of bacteria call your mouth home. While some of these are essential to oral health, others are harmful and cause gum disease. Cleaning in between your teeth to get rid of plaque and debris can help get rid of the bad bacteria, preventing bad breath, gum disease and cavities, not to mention heart disease and diabetes!

You might be wondering how your dentist can tell if you floss regularly.  Without flossing, all the plaque and food particles accumulate in between your teeth and stay there! The foreign material irritates the gums and causes the gums to become red and bleed.  This first step in the disease process is called “gingivitis.” If left unchecked, it can progress to gum disease. Make sure to come in for 6-month check-ups and regular cleanings for evaluation.

Have trouble using string floss? You aren’t alone! There are alternatives available, such as interdental brushes, floss picks, and even water picks to help remove food debris and plaque from in between your teeth.

Not sure how to floss? Check out this video from