There’s a question many people ask their dentist regarding flossing. That is, ‘should I floss before or after I brush?’ In other words, when is the best time to floss?
The American Dental Association asked the question in a poll. 53% of respondents indicated they floss before they brush; the remaining 47% said after. The ADA’s final stance was just flossed; before or after brushing is of lesser importance.
That leads to another timing question. Is it better to floss in the morning or evening? The answer is just to be sure to do it at least once a day. Some people don’t like the whole procedure of using dental floss and that leads them to eschew flossing completely. That’s not a smart habit because flossing not only helps prevent dental caries, it also reduces periodontal disease.
There are other tools that can make flossing less of a hassle. You can use a pre-threaded plastic flosser. This nifty tool is definitely gaining in popularity. There are also rubber picks that can remove food and plaque buildup without running a line of floss through your teeth and possibly injuring your gums. You can talk to your dentist about these and other flossing instruments.
When it comes to actual flossing, you don’t want to make it painful. Be gentle with the floss near your gums. Position the floss between your teeth and move it to the gum line along the sides of your teeth to remove food remnants wedged between your teeth and gums.
Use about 18 inches of floss to make this process easy and safe for your gums. Glide the floss between your teeth instead of forcefully snapping it into the gap and hitting it too hard onto the gum line. Whether you choose waxed or un-waxed floss is irrelevant as far as effectiveness goes. Just try them both and stick to the one you prefer.
Brushing your teeth and flossing is the best way to prevent plaque buildup and the resulting issues of tartar formation. If you haven’t been as habitual with flossing, a dentist visit may be a good way to inspect for possible plaque breakout. At Soos Creek Dental near Black Diamond, an oral exam will reveal how much or how little plaque has formed. Call us to address all of your oral health needs at (253) 300-0161.