May 06, 2017

Your home oral hygiene habits are your first line of defense against tooth decay and gum disease. You know that you need to brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily to prevent damage to your smile. To ensure your efforts are effective, you may be wondering if it is better to floss before or after your brush your teeth? However, you may be a bit reluctant to ask your dentist in Englewood this common question. At Tarpon Shores Dental, we understand your concern. To help you make the most of your oral care, we have the answer you need.

Why Do I Need to Floss My Teeth?

Although a toothbrush is an important tool for cleaning the teeth, it cannot reach every spot in the mouth. Unfortunately, only four out of ten Americans floss their teeth daily to clean these areas.

Flossing removes plaque and tartar accumulations from the gum line and in between the teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach. With the buildup the leading cause of gum disease, it is vital you floss each day to protect your gum health.

With over 50% of adults in the United States suffering from a form of gum disease, it is important to lower your risk for the infection with proper flossing. By doing so, you protect your gum health, keep your teeth looking great by removing plaque, and help to reduce bad breath from foul-smelling bacteria in the mouth.

When is the Best Time to Floss?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), it does not matter if you floss before or after brushing your teeth as long as you do it once a day. However, most people tend to prefer to floss after they have brushed their teeth.

Often, it is recommended to floss your teeth at night because bacteria tend to accumulate in the mouth while sleeping. However, if you have had a long, tiring day, you may not floss properly at night, rushing through the task to hurry up and get it over with. As a result, it is important to choose a time of day that is convenient to allow you to focus on your oral care to effectively clean your teeth.

How Do I Floss Correctly?

It is best to choose a dental floss that is supported by the American Dental Association, which means it has earned their seal of approval for being safe and effective. Insert the floss between two teeth and form a “C” shape around a tooth. Then, gently slide the floss down to the gum line. Be careful not to snap the floss on the gum, which can cause irritation or injury. Finally, slide the floss back up to the top of the crown and repeat this process for each tooth.

Are Brushing and Flossing Enough?

Even with the best home oral hygiene habits, it is not enough to keep your teeth and gums healthy. You need to see your Englewood dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. Contact Tarpon Shores Dental today to schedule your appointment.