The Critical Dental Mistake You Make Every Day

24 March 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Every time your brush your teeth, you are most likely missing a key component of the tooth-brushing process: Flossing. 

You may protest, "I floss every day!" and, indeed, you might. But, like many things in life, timing is critical. To floss after a lunch and then brush your teeth after dinner doesn't do you much good. The food particles from dinner could still be lodged between your teeth. It can also become tedious to have to floss after every meal, especially for people who have a busy life complete with raising a family and working at a job every day. Let the following information about flossing before brushing encourage you to change when you floss on a daily basis. 


Remember that the purpose of flossing is to clear the thin space between your teeth so that those areas can be reached when brushing and rinsing with mouthwash. With that being said, the best time for you to floss is just before brushing. In one sitting you have cleared the spaces between your teeth, gotten toothpaste further into those spaces (because there's nothing there to block the toothpaste from getting in), and allowed mouthwash to get into those spaces as well. 

The Importance of Clearing Spaces Between Teeth

Even beyond getting a deeper, more effective mouth-cleaning experience, flossing helps you make sure that you reduce the number of cavities you experience in your life and keep as many of your teeth healthy as possible. Cavities can form when a food particle is stuck between teeth for an extended period of time. Depending upon the general health of your mouth, and extended period could be anywhere from a couple of days to 12 hours (when you're getting ready for bed and sleeping for instance). 

This means that there's no reason to stop flossing after meals or throughout the day as you normally would. However, flossing just before brushing can be a more convenient method of keeping your teeth clean. For example, instead of carrying floss around with you to use at restaurants or a friends home, you can just wait until you get home to floss, brush, and rinse all at once. 

Taking Dental Cleanliness to the Next Level

Your dentist wants you to have a healthy mouth just as much as you do. So be sure to make efforts to avoid putting things in your mouth that contribute to tooth decay (, pencils, acidic drinks, cigarette smoke, etc.), get plenty of calcium in your diet to help keep teeth strong, and visit your dentist regularly (at least once each year) in order to have a dental care professional monitor and possible problems that your teeth may be developing.