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Oral Health Tip #02 – Flossing

Floss once a day


Flossing your teeth effectively is important to making your daily oral health routine count. Take a look at our How To refresher on good flossing habits

When should I floss my teeth?

Simple rule, before you go to sleep.
After you've had dinner, or any late night snacks, make it an automatic ritual to brush and floss. #HotTip If you're starting out as a newbie and you haven't been a regular flosser in the past, try flossing your top teeth one night then your bottom teeth the next. You can alternate between the top and the bottom each night until you get used to it and get a bit faster. This is especially time consuming for people with braces too!

How do I floss correctly?

  1. Start with 'the grab'. Technique: Wrap a long strand around your middle fingers (they're the rude ones), leaving your forefingers free.
  2. Brace position. Technique: Hold the floss between your thumbs and forefingers in both hands.
  3. Start on the Top. Floss the top teeth between each tooth and partly up between the gums and teeth, don't force it too much. Technique: Use your fingers to pull the floss back and forth, working your way from between the teeth to between the teeth and gums in a 'Y' shape.
  4. Repeat step 3.

Do I brush first or floss?

We say, floss first. Everyone has a different opinion on this, we take a practical approach.

When you floss you are cleaning in between your teeth and, in most cases, you are moving particles of food from between your teeth to the inside of your mouth or the surfaces of your teeth. We therefore would recommend brushing after doing this. We like to compare it to cleaning under your nails vs washing your hands. Most people would want to wash their hands after removing dirt or other nasty things from under their finger nails. That's our theory.

But there is no concrete evidence to support either order of brushing vs flossing. As long as you are disrupting the happy lives of bacteria who build little communities and multiply on and in between your teeth, you are doing the right thing.

If you do prefer to brush before flossing, we recommend thoroughly rinsing after flossing.

The #EmergencyDentist Says:

Best practice is a nightly floss after dinner –  It doesn't really matter if your brush before or after you floss

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