If you're brushing your teeth and not flossing, then you're only effectively cleaning approximately 60% of your teeth's surfaces. This may come as a surprise to you, but this is the sad truth...
You may be asking yourself "How can this possibly be? I'm confident that I'm touching all of my teeth when I brush!". And although this may be true, even the best brushers have this problem.
First you have to realize that a tooth has 5 different surfaces. These are, an occlusal (top) surface, a facial (Cheek or Lip) surface, a lingual (Tongue) surface, a mesial (interproximal surface towards the midline) and distal (interproxial surface away from the midline). It's these last two surfaces (Mesial and Distal) that do not get cleaned when you're brushing your teeth. This is because the bristles can't reach this area (assuming you're not missing any teeth). This leaves 2 out of 5 surfaces uncleaned which is about 40% of a tooth's surface. It's no surprise that many of the cavities form in these areas.
The only way to effectively clean this area is by flossing properly. This means creating a "C-shape"/hugging the tooth when you floss so that you can always be sure to have direct contact with the surface of the tooth.
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