Do you floss the right way or the wrong way?

when-to-flossDo you ever stand over your bathroom sink, wondering if you’re flossing the right way? After all– it does take up precious time in your morning or evening when you could be doing other things, like rearranging your sock drawer. So let’s get to the bottom of this dilemma…

When should I floss? Am I doing it right? Do I even need to floss? We have answers.

The debate begins with a representative from the American Dental Association who states, “It is better to floss before you brush, as you are more likely to floss your teeth because you didn’t wait so long.” As we know, brushing our teeth for 2 whole minutes is way too long to spend standing over the sink…

Meanwhile, another health professional recommended that it is better to floss after you brush your teeth – as flossing will help move the fluoride from the toothpaste all around your mouth.

So who is right?

Let’s Get The Facts

Before we give you the answer, according to Sebastian Cianco of the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Buffalo, during an interview with the Today Show, states that only 15% of Americans actually take the time to  floss their teeth once a day. Fifteen percent.

Whether or not you floss in the morning or at night – the important thing is that you floss once within 24 hours. It takes plaque about 24 hours to build up around your teeth, and brushing it away and flossing it out from between your teeth will help keep your pearlies white and gum disease at bay.

So what is the answer the question of the day?

The answer is: whatever works best for you. There is no right or wrong way when it comes to flossing before or after brushing. In fact, according to a survey performed by the ADA, 53% of Americans brush before they floss and 47% of Americans floss after they brush. So in the end, it’s comes down to what motivates you more to perform a more thorough job in your personal oral care.

Let’s dig into how to be sure that you are flossing properly with these 5 tips:

  • Begin flossing with 18” of floss and most wrapped around your middle finger of one hand, while a little is wrapped around your middle finger on the other hand.
  • Hold the floss tightly between your pointer-fingers and thumbs.
  • Gently guide the floss between your teeth using a rubbing motion.
  • When the floss reaches the gumline, curve the floss around your tooth using a ‘C’ shape against the tooth – then slide the floss between your gum and your tooth.
  • Tightly hold the floss against your tooth, gently rubbing the side with up and down motions. Repeat over the rest of the teeth.

Now that you have the down-low on how to be a flourishing flossing fanatic, be sure to share your knowledge with others. Especially to those with children, guide them in using their floss to prepare them for a lifetime of healthy gums. Remember–when you floss your teeth isn’t really important, but make sure that do regularly as it is a crucial part of your daily dental care!

For more information on how to keep your gums healthy and your smile shining bright, call Penn Dental Medicine at 215-898-8965.