Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Should I floss before or after I brush my teeth?

I don't know if you've ever thought about this topic, but the other day I found myself wondering: Should I be flossing before or after I brush my teeth and use mouthwash? So I researched the topic and found out some pretty logical results. 

When we're young our dentists tell us just to floss once a day, because that's good enough, if you're doing that you're staving off gingivitis and potential periodontal disease (severe gum disease) and removing unwanted plaque from building up. It takes plaque 24-48 hours to "settle" and solidify in your mouth, if you are flossing once every 24 hours you will not form floss in the areas that you agitate with your floss. 

My personal favorite tools to floss with are flosser dental picks. I think they make the job so much more enjoyable, and I make sure to leave them out somewhere very visible so that every single day I will see them and be reminded to use them. To top that off, I even have an alarm which sets off every night before bedtime to remind me of Flossy Time.

After much thorough research, I saw that this is a highly contested topic. Some dentists apparently don't care when you floss as long as you do floss once a day, specifically at night. It's important to floss at night before you sleep because during the night, since you aren't using or opening your mouth quite so much, and your saliva proliferates at much slower pace, the bacteria have their reign in your mouth. Bacteria are free to settle, move around, and cause disturbance in your mouth undisturbed as you sleep. So it's important that the majority of your dental care routine happens before you sleep. 

I discovered that it's important to floss before you go to sleep, the reason behind this is that it will dislodge any rogue food particles or impurities. After doing this, it is the opportune time to floss with a fluoride toothpaste and use mouthwash to ensure your mouth is clean for as long as possible throughout the night.

Guide to oral health

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