Before or after? The best time to floss

This question recently has been circling Newspapers, the TODAY show, Internet blogs…so what is the answer??

 

flossing

Flossing is the #1 thing patients say they forget to do when it comes to their daily oral hygiene plan.  And that is unfortunate because it happens to be one of the most important things.  So why is flossing so important?  The main role of floss is to remove foods trapped between the teeth.  Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between those tight spaces where plaque can build up.  If plaque isn’t removed, it can harden into tartar causing the gum tissue to become swollen or bleed.  Flossing helps reduce the likelihood of gum disease and tooth decay.  When picking the best floss for you, you can choose between waxed or unwaxed and it’s all personal preference, just always look for the ADA seal.  Choose which floss is most comfortable for you.  It’s really not what type of floss you use, but how and when you use it. 

           

Picking the preferred type of floss will make you more likely to actually do it!  It’s recommended to brush twice a day and floss once a day in the evening before bedtime so the mouth is clean while sleeping.  To floss efficiently, you need to break off and wrap about 18 to 20 inches of floss around your middle fingers, winding each end of the floss into your middle finger of each hand leaving a few inches of floss to clean your teeth with.

 

SO, the big questions… Should I brush or floss first?

Bottom line, either way is acceptable as long as you do a thorough job.  However it is recommended to floss first and get the unpleasant task out of the way to avoid the temptation to not do it since your mouth already feels clean and you are feeling tired.   Cleaning between your teeth is essential to your daily oral hygiene routine.