Should you floss before or after brushing?

by Sacks Orthodontics



We encourage our patients to maintain good oral care between appointments at Sacks Orthodontics. Flossing is one important part of that procedure, which Dr. Eric Sacks will explain as the method of cleaning between the teeth to remove food and particles from areas that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush. When food is left between the teeth for an extended period of time, it essentially creates a breeding grounds for germs, which can lead to periodontal disease.

Should you floss before or after brushing?

As long as you don't skip flossing altogether, there's no wrong answer! You may floss before or after brushing — whichever feels better to you. Advocates of flossing first would advocate that it loosens food debris and allows you to brush it away. On the other hand, brushing first allows plaque between the teeth to be removed more effectively, which makes flossing easier.

The objective is to floss correctly, no matter what you do. That means using fresh dental floss every day and carefully moving it back and forth between all of the teeth. Don't skip flossing just because your teeth appear or feel clean! Be sure that you floss every day.

When to Floss

The good news is: You don't have to floss as often as you brush! While we recommend twice-daily brushing, you only need to floss between your teeth once a day. Many people prefer to floss at night because food and debris may stay trapped in the gaps of their teeth overnight. This could also help to prevent plaque (the stuff that causes tooth decay) from building up.

Tips for Flossing Like a Boss

Contact our office if you have concerns about your flossing technique or what kind of floss is best for your teeth. Our team will be delighted to help you improve your personal hygiene practice. Most of the time, you can choose between interdental cleaning picks or flexible floss strands to complete your daily flossing regimen. If you wear dental implants or restorations, follow the flossing instructions provided to you and contact our Livingston, NJ office with any questions.

Patients - Sacks Orthodontics - Livingston, NJ

Should I Use a Waterpik or Water Flosser to Floss With Braces?

A Waterpik or water flosser can be a helpful tool for braces-wearers of all ages. A water flosser is often the best answer if you or your kid has issues with string floss. It's quick, simple, and allows you to clean your entire mouth in under two minutes. It's especially helpful around the braces and gum line, as string floss can't get into these areas. While the tool itself is more expensive than standard floss (typically $30-70), one unit will last the entire time you're in braces.  Outside of the cost, the only real downside to a water flosser (compared to regular floss) is that it does require you to be near a sink in order to use it.

What Is a Water Flosser?

A Waterpik is a well-known manufacturer of water flossers. A water flosser is a machine that shoots pressurized pulsating water between your teeth, along the gum line, and around your braces. If you find string flossing to be too difficult on a daily basis, a water flosser might be ideal for you or your child! A water flosser can also aid in the removal of food debris from your gums and around your braces, in addition to polishing between your teeth like floss.

Why Is Flossing With Braces So Important?

“Cleaning between teeth removes plaque that can lead to cavities or gum disease from the regions where a toothbrush can't reach,” according to the American Dental Association. In other words, flossing removes plaque and aids in the prevention of cavities and gum disease. Braces increase the chance of plaque buildup, cavities, and gum disease considerably. If you got braces to make your teeth straight, you probably want them to stay clean and healthy, too! That’s why we want to help all of our patients learn the easiest, most effective ways to floss your teeth with braces. 

If you have any questions about brushing or flossing with braces, be sure to check in with our team at your next visit!

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