Jul 20, 2021

How often should I be flossing? We’ll look at what the experts recommend.

Practicing a good oral hygiene routine at home and routine preventive care visits to your dentist are the two most important factors in maintaining lifelong dental health. By getting in the routine of brushing and flossing, you can avoid tooth decay, one of the most common diseases affecting people of all ages.

Dr. Schwartz provides affordable, comprehensive generalcosmetic and restorative dental services for people of all ages in Westchester County. Ask about our Dental Savings Plan and New Patient Special.

How Often Should I Be Flossing?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), it’s best to clean between your teeth once a day. For most people, that means using dental floss, but there are other methods for interdental cleaning, like dental picks and water flossers. 

Both waxed and unwaxed floss is acceptable. However, waxed floss will resist fraying for those with braces.

When choosing a product, it’s a good idea to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Also, we’ll be happy to recommend our favorite products at your appointment. On occasion, Dr. Schwartz shares his reviews on our social media pages.

By cleaning between your teeth, you will help remove plaque and any particles of food. Plaque contains bacteria that release damaging acid as they feed, which slowly erodes tooth enamel over time. Thus, it can lead to tooth decay.

If left in place, plaque will harden and become tartar (or calculus), sometimes leading to gum disease. If so, only a dentist can remove the tartar.

When Should I Floss?

Notably, it doesn’t matter what time of day you floss, as long as you do it. As part of your daily oral hygiene routine, brush twice daily and floss once, whenever it’s convenient for you. Thus, you may want to floss at night and sleep with a clean mouth feeling. On the other hand, it’s fine to floss in the morning or midday if you prefer.

Should I Brush or Floss First?

As long as you floss, it is fine to do so either before or after brushing. It’s up to you. Some people may feel like they are removing more particles by flossing first, followed by brushing. Others prefer to do it the other way around, and that’s perfectly fine.

Does Flossing Really Help?

Some years ago, you may have seen news stories that flossing isn’t helpful. However, dentists routinely see the advantages when they see the smiles of people who floss regularly versus those who do not.

Often, red and swollen gums can indicate that a person may need to floss more often. If you have any concerns or questions about flossing, our team will be happy to give you tips or recommend other ways to remove plaque. 

Brush, Floss, Rinse, Smile

Along with brushing, flossing your teeth once a day will help you keep your teeth strong and healthy at home. In general, the ADA recommends seeing your dentist once or twice a year. However, there is no “one-size-fits-all,” and some patients may need to see their dentist more often. 

With regular dental visits and good oral hygiene, we can together prevent most dental diseases.

For more tips, check out our recent blog, “How often should I replace my toothbrush.”

If you are concerned about your dental health or have been away from the dentist and want to restore your smile for a better quality of life, schedule an appointment with Dr. Schwartz. We welcome new patients from many Westchester County communities, offering affordable dental care in CortlandtOssiningPeekskillCrotonville, and Croton on Hudson.

Call our office at (914) 271-6224 or use our convenient online request form, and we will contact you shortly.

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