Brushing for two to three minutes both morning and night is key to maintaining proper oral health. But where should your daily flossing habits fit in? Dentists are quick to reply “whenever you can properly floss,” which is 100% right. Yet let’s say you want to develop a solid routine and stick with it for the best results. To get to the bottom of this, let’s dig a little deeper into the question of whether you should floss in the morning or the night.
If you’re not flossing every day, it can cost you big time as you age. Floss helps remove food particles between your teeth, which slows the growth of plaque in hard to reach places. If that plaque is not regularly cleaned and removed, it can develop into tartar. This substance can really take a toll on your teeth and gums. You can develop gum disease, which causes your gums to bleed and become inflamed. Worse yet, gum disease can even lead to premature tooth loss. Tartar also encourages the growth of cavities, so even short term exposure can have negative consequences.
As we just saw, skipping your daily flossing routine can lead to some significant issues down the road. However, rushing through your flossing routine isn’t going to do you any favors either. It’s no secret that people don’t like to floss. It takes time to do it properly, so you definitely don’t want to be in a hurry. As you consider whether to floss in the morning or the night, consider your time limits. If you’re rushing off to work, there is likely no way you’re going to be able to devote the right amount of time to flossing. Keep this in mind as you plan your flossing routine.
As we discussed above, flossing helps remove food particles between your teeth, which slows the growth of plaque. Certain foods will leave more particles between your teeth than others. For example, potato chips will leave a lot of starchy particles between your teeth. Other foods, like vegetables will not leave as many particles. Even foods like celery can help clean your teeth. If you’re going to bed after snacking on items like potato chips, it is a great idea to floss and remove them before you sleep all night. Brushing will remove some of the particles, but for the best clean, flossing is required.
Once you add up all the factors above, the best time for most to floss is in the evening before bed. First, the evening allows for more time to properly floss so you don’t rush through it. Second, flossing will remove food particles from between your teeth, which provides a good period of time for your teeth to be free of any particles that generate plaque as you sleep. Finally, many people are less likely to forget since they are less-focused on getting their day started vs. the morning. The saying of “floss when you have the time” still rings true, but generally you’ll have better success in flossing when you schedule it for the evening.
Well there you have it. Flossing is better reserved for the night when you have more time. But the main thing is you put in the proper time for the task whenever you can. Every day make sure you hit two brushing sessions and one flossing session no matter what. Patients who stick to this have a better outlook for oral health as they age. Of course if you have more questions about whether you should floss in the morning or night, now is the time to schedule a checkup and visit with our world-class staff. Contact Grace & Leedy Family Dentistry to set up your next appointment.