We all have our preferences: toilet paper over or under, pie cold or heated, spaghetti sauce mixed in or on top. If you want to avoid gum disease, any good dentist will tell you that flossing is as important as brushing your teeth. Des Moines, IA dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson, educates patients on the importance of dental hygiene every day. Which do you think makes more sense: flossing after you brush your teeth, or before? Is it just a matter of personal preference?
The Reason for Flossing
Maintaining healthy gums is the best way to ensure that you keep all of your natural teeth for your entire life. Periodontal disease is caused by a bacterial infection. Once you have gum disease, you can treat it, which helps stop the spread and progression of the pervasive condition. Unfortunately, there is no cure for gum disease, however. Preventing periodontal infection is the only real way to stop it at this current point in dental healthcare. That is why Dr. Johnson is so adamant that patients visit every six months for checkups and cleanings, as well as brushing and flossing at home.
Before or After Brushing?
The general rule of thumb is that you should brush a minimum of twice-a-day (for two minute sessions) and floss once. There are a variety of flosses available to meet your personal preferences. Now, how about the before or after question? We are happy when patients floss daily, no matter what the timing. However, if you want the most bang for your flossing buck, think about the purpose of this oral hygiene tool. Floss is designed to remove trapped food debris from between your teeth, where your toothbrush can’t reach. Though your saliva will probably rinse the particles and germs away, some of the debris will sit on your teeth indefinitely. Flossing prior to brushing makes a great deal of sense so that food particles and germs will be immediately removed.
Visit your Des Moines, IA Dentist
Regular dental visits, brushing, and flossing can help keep your gums healthy. If it has been more than six months since your last visit, you are due for a checkup. Schedule an appointment to visit Dr. Johnson by calling 515-223-9764. Our 50266 dentist office welcomes patients from West Des Moines, Waukee, Clive, and nearby Des Moines metro communities.