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When Should I Floss?

Flossing is integral to good oral hygiene. However, many people wonder about the best time to floss. Should it be done before or after brushing? Should it be in the morning or in the evening? Is it better to floss before or after eating? Essentially, you will be fine as long as you floss every day. However, you can maximize your flossing benefits. 

When Should I Floss?

Before or After Brushing: Which is Better?

The question of whether to floss before or after brushing is a common one. The truth is that both approaches have their benefits. However, many dentists recommend flossing before brushing. Doing so can remove plaque and dislodge food particles between your teeth and along the gumline. This allows the fluoride in your toothpaste to reach these areas more effectively during brushing, enhancing its benefits.

The Ideal Sequence

To achieve optimal results, follow these steps:

1: Start by flossing your teeth before brushing.

2: Use a piece of dental floss approximately 18 inches long and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving a small section to work with.

3: Gently slide the floss between your teeth and along the gumline, curving it in a C shape to reach all surfaces.

4: Move the floss up and down, cleaning both sides of each tooth.

5: After flossing, rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash to remove any loosened debris.

6: Then, brush your teeth thoroughly using fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Make sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth, especially the backs. 

7: Finish by rinsing your mouth again to remove any residual toothpaste. You could also follow this step with mouthwash. Adding mouthwash to your routine can help get rid of any remaining plaque from your mouth. 

There are several ways that you can achieve good oral hygiene. However, this is a good example to follow each time you clean your teeth. A good routine can help you avoid tooth decay and gum disease

Consistency is Key

The timing of flossing is not as critical as the regularity with which you floss. Aim to floss at least once a day. You should make sure that you clean between all teeth and reach the gum line. Consistency is key to maintaining good oral health and preventing dental problems.

Other Opportunities to Floss

While nighttime is often considered the ideal time to floss, it doesn’t mean you should neglect to floss during the day. There are other occasions when you can take advantage of a quick flossing session.

After meals: Flossing after consuming food helps remove any lingering particles that can get stuck between teeth.

On-the-go: Keep a pack of floss picks or interdental brushes in your bag or car to use when you’re away from home.

Special circumstances: If you notice food stuck between your teeth or feel something irritating your gums, take a moment to floss immediately. This can prevent discomfort or potential dental issues.

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