Both brushing and flossing are important parts of maintaining a healthy smile. However, you might wonder if you should brush your teeth or floss first. The truth is that it doesn't actually matter.
When to Floss
Whether you floss before or after you brush your teeth, it will have the same effect on your oral health. You might even choose to floss and brush at a different time. The only bare minimum is that you brush and floss twice a day.
Typically, it's best to floss about 30 minutes after a meal. By doing so, you can avoid causing damage to your enamel. When you brush and floss shortly after dinner, the enamel will be at its weakest state. When you are flossing properly, it should only take about five minutes to finish flossing.
How to Know if You're Flossing Properly
If you're not sure if you're flossing properly, this is something that you can bring up when you visit your dentist. He or she can inspect your teeth and find out how well you are flossing. If you are flossing effectively enough, there should be no blood as you floss your teeth.
What to Do About Excessive Bleeding
If you are flossing regularly and you are still bleeding, this is not normal and you will want to talk to your dentist. It could be a sign that you have gum disease and you will want your dentist to treat it. Flossing should be performed gently and shouldn't irritate your gum line.
How to Use Enough Floss
You will want to use a clean portion of your floss for each part of your tooth. For that reason, you'll want to use about 18 inches of floss. There are some small, disposable floss tools that only contain a small threat of floss and a plastic stick.
However, using one of those for all of your teeth might simply spread bacteria and food debris around your mouth. However, using these tools is better than not flossing at all and can be useful in a pinch when you only have travel floss.
Regardless of when you floss and how you floss, it's important to floss. Cavities can form in-between your teeth and flossing prevents food and bacteria build-up. Also, flossing helps keep your gums healthy. If you notice that your gums are red, bleeding or swollen, this could be the result of your gums becoming infected.
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