If you are curious to get an answer to the question above (when should I floss my teeth?), we actually have two answers. The first is “always”, as in always floss the teeth after you eat a meal. The second is “each time you brush”. Yet, L’Enfant Plaza Dental Arts in Washington, DC also has many patients ask, “when do I floss my teeth when I do regular oral hygiene?” So, let’s take some time to generate a third answer to the question.
As your preferred dentist in Washington, DC, we always emphasize the importance of preventative dentistry visits, proper dental hygiene, and dedication to brushing and flossing. During visits, our team may tell you if your regular oral hygiene routine is flawed in some way, and then suggest a workable solution. We might suggest you use a different type of brush or toothpaste, and we may explore the approach you use to flossing.
To get to the heart of the answer to “when should I floss my teeth”, though, we have to begin with the gear used. For the most part, we suggest waxed, ribbon-style floss as it glides easily and is more comfortable on the fingers. You can also use the flossing picks that are able to get to the back teeth a bit easier.
Your technique is as important as the point in which flossing is done, and you should remember to floss the gum line and rub it up and down the sides of the individual teeth. Don’t forget the often-overlooked rear molar area!
The next part of the answer to the “when should I floss my teeth” question looks at the point in your brushing and flossing routine is best for flossing to occur. Most agree that it is prior to brushing. Why? Well, when done properly, flossing removes bacteria trapped between the teeth and loosens any particles. As you brush, everything is then washed away and removed.
If you wait to floss until after brushing and rinsing occur, you are simply shifting the bacteria or debris around, and not necessarily eliminating it.
Typically, our general dentist will be able to help you discover if your flossing is not hitting all of the right spots, or if you need to change your approach. Using the method here, though, should get the job done.
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Did this give you an adequate answer to the question of “when should I floss my teeth”? If no, be sure to get in touch and book a general dentistry visit. You can do so by giving us a call at our Washington, DC office at 202-488-8300. You can also use our online contact form and one of our staff will get back to you promptly.