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Brush, Floss, And Rinse: Why Each Of The Big Three Are Important



We’re taught from a young age the “Big Three” steps of oral hygiene: Brush, Floss, and Rinse. These are all essential steps to maintaining an excellent oral hygiene routine. Unfortunately, as many people grow into adulthood, one or more of these three steps can fall by the wayside. As you get older, it’s as important as ever to continue taking great care of your teeth in order to avoid cavities, gum disease, tooth decay, and other harmful things that may lead to a tooth extraction procedure.

Oral Hygiene


Brushing your teeth helps remove plaque, which is a transparent layer of bacteria that covers your teeth and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and infection.

A good starting point is to make sure you’re using the right tools. A soft-bristled toothbrush is ideal to avoid irritating your gums. There are also many different kinds of toothpastes available. You may want to ask your dentist if you’re unsure which kind is right for you. Options include toothpaste for sensitive teeth, anti-tartar toothpaste, flavoured toothpaste for children, and whitening toothpaste.

You should brush your teeth at least twice a day for at least two minutes. Brushing your teeth removes plaque, food debris, and other bacteria from your teeth as well as freshens your breath and stimulates the gums. It’s an essential step to having fresh breath, healthy teeth, and healthy gums.


Flossing is one of the oral hygiene habits that most often gets forgotten, which is a shame because proper flossing is really important when it comes to removing plaque, bacteria, and bits of food from your teeth.

If left unflossed, bacteria and food can get stuck in your gums and lead to gingivitis or, if left untreated, gum disease. Poor gum health is a major cause of patients having to undergo tooth extraction procedures, and can be a big detriment to your overall health.

It’s important that you use the correct flossing technique to make sure you’re not damaging your gums or pushing plaque further in. Have your dentist demonstrate to you how to floss correctly, and make it part of your daily oral hygiene routine!


After you brush and floss, rinsing is the final step to cleaning your mouth of as much bacteria as possible. You may choose to rinse with just water, though many people use mouthwash in order to kill bacteria and freshen breath. There is a wide range of all-natural mouthwashes on the market if you’d rather avoid one that contains harsher ingredients. If you are unsure which mouthwash you should use, consult your dentist.

These three steps, combined with regular trips to your dentist for checkups and cleanings, will ensure a lifetime of excellent oral health and prevent having to undergo unpleasant dental procedures, such as root canals or tooth extractions!

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Dr. Tali Waksman
A graduate from the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Toronto, Dr. Tali Waksman went on to work as the only dentist on a Native reserve, serving 2000 people after completing a residency at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. With a warm and friendly personality and close attention to detail, she treats every patient like family.