Should I Floss Before or After Brushing?

Important Dental Health Tips to Keep in Mind

Many people are conflicted about whether they should floss before or after brushing. Regardless of when you do it, it is important to understand that daily flossing is as important to keeping your teeth and gums healthy as brushing. It helps remove the small bits of food and plaque stuck in between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach. To learn more about the benefits of flossing teeth and the right way to do it, talk to your local Waterloo dentist.

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When is the right time for flossing?

The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) recommends flossing before you brush your teeth as a more effective method of preventing tooth decay and gum disease.

The American Dental Association (ADA) on the other hand believes that it does not matter whether you floss before or after brushing. Time of day i.e. morning or evening is also irrelevant just as long as you do it once a day. The ADA, however, does agree that cleaning out the spaces between your teeth before brushing will allow for more coverage and penetration by the fluoride in your toothpaste.

Why is flossing important?

The CDA explains that when you do not floss, you are missing more than one-third of your tooth surface. This encourages the formation of plaque which is one of the main causes of gum disease. Within 24 to 36 hours, this plaque will then harden into tartar (also called calculus), which can only be removed by professional cleaning. Flossing at least once a day can prevent this from happening.

Tip: Getting into the habit of daily flossing is easier when you floss while doing something else like watching TV or listening to music, for example.

Dental Health Tips on Flossing the Right Way

The right flossing technique makes your task easier and more effective. Here are the CDA’s guidelines on how to floss.

  1. Take a length of floss equal to the distance from your hand to your shoulder.
  2. Wrap it around your index and middle fingers, leaving about two inches between your hands.
  3. Slide the floss between your teeth and wrap it into a “C” shape around the base of the tooth and gently under the gum line.
  4. Wipe the tooth from base to tip two or three times.
  5. Be sure to floss both sides of every tooth.
  6. Don’t forget the backs of your last molars.
  7. Go to a new section of the floss as it wears and picks up particles.

At Waterloo Smiles, we emphasize preventative care to minimize any serious teeth and gum issues. We educate our patients about the right way to floss and brush in order to maintain good dental health throughout their lives. Take advantage of detailed examinations and customized treatment plans to improve your oral health. Click here to read testimonials from our smiling clients! Call 519-888-6063 or click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Husain, your experienced Waterloo dentist, and learn more about how to improve your dental health.

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