Most people brush their teeth on a regular basis, but they aren’t as diligent about flossing. Getting people to floss regularly is like pulling teeth (pun intended), but it is a very important part of a good dental hygiene plan.
People are more likely to floss after a big meal or if they feel something stuck in their teeth, and while these are appropriate times to floss, is there a specific time when it is best to floss? We take a look at the best time to floss your teeth in today’s blog.
When Should I Floss?
Brushing helps to clean the surfaces of your teeth, but we can’t always get between our teeth with the bristles. For hard to reach places, we turn to floss. Flossing helps to remove plaque, which is a substance that contains bacteria that breaks down tooth enamel. Left untreated, plaque can harden and form into tartar, which can only be safely removed by your dentist.
So when should you pick up the floss and go to work between your teeth? For starters, if you ever feel something stuck between your teeth, or if you notice the development of plaque when you’re looking in a mirror, you should grab floss, a floss stick or a water flosser and clean out your teeth. The longer that substance stays in your mouth, the longer bacteria can hang around and break down your tooth enamel.
Others have asked if there is a specific time when it’s best to floss, whether that be before brushing, after brushing or after a big meal. The answer to that question is that there is no specific time when it is optimal to brush. As we mentioned above, you should floss if you feel food between your teeth or see plaque building up, but there is no perfect time each day when flossing is best. The most important aspect of flossing is simply making time to perform the action each day.
Find the Time that Works for You
It can be easy to skip over flossing when you’re trying to get out of the house in the morning, so a lot of people find it easier to regularly floss before they go to bed. You can do it before or after you brush your teeth, but take a couple minutes to floss between each tooth. If you don’t like using standard floss, experiment with floss sticks or water flossers to see if they are more comfortable or effective.
Make sure you floss every night, and have your spouse or kids join in on the routine. Your family is more likely to participate if they see you setting a good example. Not only will this help protect your teeth, but it can also help to reduce future dental bills by being proactive about cavity prevention!
Flossing isn’t always fun, but it’s a simple thing that goes a long way in helping to protect your teeth and gums. If you have questions about starting or sticking to a flossing routine, or you want help getting your kids to floss, bring your questions to Dr. Brooks on your next visit, or give his office a call today.
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