Many dentists agree that flossing is more important than brushing your teeth. Flossing allows you to reach the parts of your teeth that a regular toothbrush can’t access. It cleans out the bacteria and plaque that can hide and grow in your mouth. The two most important factors of flossing are when you floss and how you floss. The timing and technique of flossing really make a difference in your mouth.
The best time of day to floss is at night before bed. This way you can clean out everything from your teeth that has built up throughout the day. Your teeth will have less bacteria while you sleep and will stay that way until the morning when you brush again. You should floss after every meal but if you only have time to do it once, in the evening before bed is best.
The way you floss also affects the amount of bacteria and plaque on your teeth. If you don’t floss correctly you can injure your gums and cause them to bleed. You should take about 18 inches of floss and wrap it around your index fingers, leaving a 1-2 inch space. With the floss taut, gently guide it in between your teeth in a zigzag motion instead of forcing it in with one move. Move it back and forth across the tooth’s surface and under the gum line. You must do this gently or you can easily harm your gums.
Ideally, you should always floss before you brush your teeth or at least once a day. By only brushing, you are leaving behind 40% of your tooth’s surface allowing bacteria to grow and plaque to build. Plaque build-up leads to gum disease which can be prevented by adequately flossing your teeth every day.