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What's the big deal? Brushing cleans the front and back of your teeth but your toothbrush has a hard time reaching foods that get stuck in between. Marc Liechtung, DDS, a dentist at Manhattan Dental Arts in New York says that any food that gets stuck between your teeth has a chance at turning into bacteria that can eat away at the enamel and cause decay. Not only can this cause cavities, it can also lead to gum disease, root canals, and even tooth loss.
Break it: While proper nutrition helps (aka laying off the sweet stuff), Dr. Liechtung says to brush three times a day if possible, always down and away from the gums. As for flossing, do it right before you go to bed so there's no food to do any damage while you sleep. For those not keen on flossing, try a Waterpik, an oral irrigator that clears away food using a water jet.