When is the Best Time to Floss?

Poway and Rancho Bernardo, CA

Flossing your teeth every day provides many benefits to your oral health and your overall health. Studies conclude that daily flossing not only decreases your risk of gum disease and improves your breath, but it also could help your heart health, decrease your risk of dementia, and makes it easier for your body to stabilize blood sugar levels. But is there a specific time of day that is best to floss? Today on the blog, our Poway family dentist Dr. Nicol Cook answers this common question.

Why flossing is important for your mouth

best time to floss

Many people ask us, is it worth the effort to floss? The answer, yes! Daily flossing is the equivalent of brushing between your teeth. If you’re only brushing and never floss, you miss cleaning about one-third of the surfaces of your teeth. Interproximal cleaning reduces your risk of developing cavities between your teeth and gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. Flossing once a day also helps improve bad breath by removing bacteria and food from between your teeth. So, if you battle halitosis (bad breath) and brushing your teeth doesn’t seem to change things, consider adding daily flossing to your routine.

How daily flossing promotes better overall health

Flossing your teeth provides benefits for your entire body. Mounting research reveals a connection between an increased risk of heart disease and stroke with individuals that have high levels of oral bacteria or gum disease. Additionally, an influx of oral bacteria from not flossing and brushing daily also makes it difficult for people with diabetes to stabilize their blood sugar levels. Several other studies explain that gum disease increases the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. So, when you add flossing to your daily oral hygiene routine, you’re teeth and gums aren’t the only parts of your body that benefit, but your heart and brain, too! 

When should I floss?

Quite honestly, you could floss your teeth any time throughout the day. However, you’ll receive the most benefits if you floss after your last meal of the day or before bed. That way, you’ve thoroughly removed any food or bacteria lingering between your teeth. The longer bacteria are in your mouth, the more damage it can do, so flossing before bed provides the longest stretch of time before you’ll eat again.

What flossing products should I use?

Traditional string floss is always the best and cheapest way to clean between your teeth. Not sure if you’re flossing, right? Check out our comprehensive guide to flossing to ensure you’re using the most effective flossing technique. However, interproximal brushes are handy to clean around dental implants, bridges, or large gaps between your teeth. If you have braces or struggle to use string floss, consider purchasing a water floss to blast away food and bacteria.

Family Dentist in Poway and Rancho Bernardo

Preventive care is one of the best ways to ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy. The ideal oral care routine should include daily brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist twice a year. If you’d like to learn more about protecting your oral health, schedule an appointment with Smiles by Dr. Cook by calling (858) 673-0141 or contact us today.

How are we managing COVID-19?  Read our safety practice policy.

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