First off, keep in mind that The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes at least, and to couple this with once-a-day flossing. This is to maintain our optimum oral hygiene and general well-being. But which of the two is more important? Dr. Kami Hoss of the Super Dentists explains the value of both healthy habits below.

Many dentists believe that, when done properly, flossing is more important than brushing one’s teeth. This is because flossing lets you remove plaque from both underneath the gums and between your teeth. It is in these hard-to-reach spots where most microbes thrive, and failure to eliminate plaque may lead to various gum diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis.

Brushing, of course, also removes plaque buildup, getting rid of them from the front and back surfaces of one’s teeth. Ultimately, it’s best to have one activity complement the other. Both brushing and flossing are necessary to maintain oral health. It shouldn’t be an either/or predicament if one is to truly shoo harmful bacteria away.

All in all, the best advice is to treat both brushing one’s teeth and flossing as vital to oral health. Together, they prevent complications stemming from dental problems such as the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Instead of thinking in terms or “versus,” use “and” more, as flossing and brushing truly go hand in hand, explains Dr. Kami Hoss.

Kami Hoss, MS, DDS, is the CEO of The Super Dentists, the largest pediatric dentistry and orthodontic practice in San Diego. He is also the chief executive of Acceledontics and The Howard Healthcare Academy. More info on Dr. Hoss and his work here.