The Facts About Flossing

May 24, 2019

Flossing your teeth every day is critical to a healthy mouth and body.  Passing on this one simple step, even for a few days, allows bacteria to harden and stick between teeth leading to more invasive issues and expensive procedures down the road.

Floss Before or After Brushing?

There are two schools of thinking here.  One is that you floss to loosen bits of food and bacteria between teeth, then brush it away.  The other is that brushing first eliminates the majority of the plaque on teeth and flossing after helps spread the remaining fluoride in-between teeth and gums.  The most important take away is that it needs to happen daily.

What Kind Should I Use?

If there is little space between teeth, waxed floss may glide easiest.  If you have gaps, a dental tape may be your best option.  There are kids flossers to help out your little ones and Orthodontic flossers for those with braces. Using a product with an ADA (American Dental Association) seal is always suggested.

How Much Should I Use?

It’s necessary to use a new segment of floss between each tooth.  Using the same portion between each of your teeth only spreads bacteria and bits of food removed from one area of your mouth to another.  Lengths of 18 to 20″ is recommended to enable you to clean appropriately between each tooth.

What If My Gums Bleed?

If flossing is new to your routine, or if you’re inconsistent with the practice, there may be a bit of blood on the thread afterward, which should stop with consistency.  Bleeding could be due to bacteria or hardened material at your gum line.  It’s vital to be thorough but gentle when flossing.  Gliding or using a sawing motion rather than popping up and down will help avoid irritation.

Is Rinsing Important?

Yes! Swishing with water or mouthwash after flossing helps to keep the particles you’ve removed from ending up back between your teeth.

Contact us with any questions, or to schedule your next appointment!