Flossing Do's and Don'ts - Answers from a Real Live Dentist
This morning I sat down with Dr. Diane Pudlewski. Dr. Pudlewski is an advanced cosmetic dentist at our office. Her patients affectionately call her Dr. P.
I asked Dr. P the most common question we've received in the past few weeks.
Is it better to floss before or after you brush?
Lately there have been some articles online saying it's better to floss BEFORE you brush.
Dr. P strongly says that you should floss AFTER you brush. It's old school yet it's still very true.
Here's the best routine per Dr. P:
1. Brush your teeth to get rid of the majority of the goop on your teeth.
2. Rinse your mouth to sweep away extra debris. Dr P says water or mouth wash are both good. She happens to be a huge advocate of Listerine. We know many people can't handle the strong taste, and that Listerine makes an alcohol free version. Dr. P says that the alcohol free version works just as well.
3. Floss. No brush will get between your teeth like floss. No rinsing will get all of the debris off (just like you can't just rinse your dishes). You need to floss at least one time per day.
****Pro Tip **** Dr. P says that the biggest mistake people make when flossing is that they just go up and down between each tooth. She says, "Remember you are doing two teeth each time. Follow the contours of each side of each tooth." Your teeth are slightly rounded and you want to swipe each side of each tooth.
4. And for extra dental credit, rinse one more time. This will sweep away any extra bits that your flossing loosened up.
Hate flossing? Dr. P says to invest in a water pick/ water flosser. The inside of your teeth need some love. Brushing and rinsing alone won't cut it.
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4. For extra dental credit, rinse again. That will help sweep away anything you've loosened with flossing.