Should You Floss Before Or After You Brush?

Should You Floss Before Or After You Brush?

When you go to the dentist, one common thing you will likely be asked is “how often do you brush & floss”? While many patients remember to brush once or twice a day, it is very common for patients to not floss nearly as often as they should. Dentists recommend that you floss once per day. But you might have a few specific questions about flossing. At what time during the day should you floss, should you brush first or floss first, and how do you make sure you are flossing correctly? In this article, we will cover each of these questions, as well as provide you so more information about brushing and flossing. If you are in the Chicago area and need to make a dental appointment for yourself or a member of your family, give us a call to schedule an appointment at one of our ten offices.

At What Time Of Day Should You Floss?

Let’s start by discussing how flossing works, and why you should do it. Dental decay and gum disease are caused when bacteria in your mouth feed on the particles left behind in the food and beverages that you consume. The bacteria grow and it leads to infection and dental decay. Bacteria can cause demineralization where the outermost layers of your teeth are dissolved leading to the tooth pulp getting exposed. Brushing can remove the food and bacteria from your teeth but it can’t effectively get into the spaces between your teeth. Flossing is the best defense against cavities that grow in between your teeth. That is why we recommend flossing at least once per day. Flossing before bed is highly recommended. When we sleep we give the bacteria in our mouths 7-9 hours to attack our teeth and gums. Flossing after dinner or dessert and making sure not to have any additional food or beverages is the best way to protect your teeth.

Should I Brush or Floss First?

Many people brush and then floss, but did you know that some studies have shown that brushing with fluoride toothpaste after you floss is actually better for your teeth? As we mentioned earlier, bacteria can cause demineralization. By flossing first, you can remove food and bacteria between your teeth which then allows the fluoride in your toothpaste to get into those gaps and strengthen the outside of the teeth.

How Do I Floss Correctly?

One common mistake made by kids and young adults is simply pushing the floss between the teeth and then immediately removing it. When you floss you should rub the floss against each tooth individually to remove any plaque, food, or bacteria on the surface of that tooth. Avoid going to hard or going against the gums as this can cause bleeding, pain, and inflammation.

Make A Family Dental Appointment in Chicago

If you live in the Chicago area and need to see a dentist, give us a call. We would be happy to schedule a dental appointment for you or your children at one of our ten locations. A dental visit is the strongest defense against cavities, decay, and gum disease.

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