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9 Things to Know About Your Smile

Health Logo By Hallie Levine of Health | Slide 2 of 7: <p>Flossing made headlines earlier this year when an Associated Press report claimed that research shows <a href="http://www.health.com/oral-health/dental-floss">little evidence it's worth your while</a>. But don't quit the habit just yet, says Wayne Aldredge, DMD, president of the American Academy of Periodontology. "All the studies they looked at were of short duration, some as little as two weeks. Gum disease is a process that takes years to develop."</p> <p>Over time, the bacteria hiding between your chompers can build up, promoting acid production that erodes teeth and leads to cavities. Flossing does help get rid of those harmful bugs. The best way to do it: Slide the strand vertically, up and down the sides of your teeth (don't saw back and forth). If you really dislike flossing, try and interdental brush. Some research suggests that these wiry, cylindrical little brushes ay be even more effective than dental floss. </p>

You still need to floss

Flossing made headlines earlier this year when an Associated Press report claimed that research shows little evidence it's worth your while. But don't quit the habit just yet, says Wayne Aldredge, DMD, president of the American Academy of Periodontology. "All the studies they looked at were of short duration, some as little as two weeks. Gum disease is a process that takes years to develop."

Over time, the bacteria hiding between your chompers can build up, promoting acid production that erodes teeth and leads to cavities. Flossing does help get rid of those harmful bugs. The best way to do it: Slide the strand vertically, up and down the sides of your teeth (don't saw back and forth). If you really dislike flossing, try and interdental brush. Some research suggests that these wiry, cylindrical little brushes ay be even more effective than dental floss.

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