When you neglect to floss, you’re leaving your mouth vulnerable to a host of dental conditions. Flossing removes plaque and tartar buildup between your teeth. Plaque bacteria, if not removed, can irritate your gum tissue and cause gingivitis, which is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Moreover, plaque can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria that produce acids that attack and destroy the enamel between your teeth, resulting in tooth decay and cavities. Taking your time with flossing every day is key to successfully removing plaque and tartar from between your teeth. If you floss several times a day but do so quickly, you’ll miss a lot of plaque, bacteria, and food debris, which defeats the purpose of flossing. It doesn’t matter if you brush first or floss first, just make sure to do both every day!