Flossing is a critical part of maintaining oral health. It helps remove harmful plaque bacteria from areas where the bristles of your toothbrush just can’t reach. These bacteria can cause tooth decay (cavities) and lead to gum disease. If not cleared away from tooth surfaces regularly, these bacteria harden into a tough coating called tartar, which must be removed by a professional cleaning. Flossing every day helps you avoid a myriad of dental problems, and along with brushing and regular dental checkups and cleanings, is the best thing you can do for your teeth.