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should you floss before or after brushing
Life Tips

An Important Question: Should You Floss Before or After Brushing

When practicing good oral hygiene, mistakes are quite common as there is, unfortunately, a prevalence of myths and misinformation. An important question you don’t hear enough is should you floss before or after brushing? Or how do you effectively floss if you have braces?

On the one hand, it makes sense to think that you can floss after brushing to get out the food bits that your brush couldn’t. But surprisingly, dentists have to say otherwise. This article answers all the questions you might have about flossing.

What Is Flossing?

Flossing

To floss, you use dental floss. Dental floss is a cord or filament that’s thin enough to get in the tiny gaps between your teeth. It’s typically made of plastic, although some are made from nylon.

Dental floss is made to be flexible and sturdy enough to stand friction but smooth enough to avoid damaging your gums. To floss with it, you hold two ends of the string, push it into the gaps between your teeth and slide it up and down gently.

Flossing helps to dislodge food particles stuck between the teeth and helps reduce the build-up of plaque and bacteria in your mouth. It’s an important part of oral hygiene that you should perform regularly to keep your gums and teeth healthy and have a dazzling smile.

How To Floss

Flossing is easy unless you have braces because they have a wire that gets in the way. You need to give yourself 10 to 15 minutes to floss properly every day, and longer if you have braces.

Here’s the correct flossing method to follow for teeth without braces:

#1. Take roughly 18 to 24 inches of dental floss.

#2. Stretch and hold the piece of dental floss tightly in both your hands using your thumbs and index fingers.

#3. Place the dental floss between your teeth.

#4. Curve the floss into a C shape and rub it across the edges of the teeth. Make sure you reach the gum but be careful in that area.

#5. Repeat steps 1-4 for every gap between teeth.

Flossing With Braces

Flossing can be especially tricky with braces because braces involve a wire going through them horizontally across your teeth. This can make it impossible to get to the gum area while flossing. However, there are some flossing tools you can purchase that can help keep the spaces between your teeth plaque-free if you have braces:

#1. Floss Threader: Allows you to get dental floss under the wires.

#2. Waxed Floss: Very smooth and less likely to get caught on braces.

#3. Water Flosser Machine: Pushes water out of a pinhole at high speed to help dislodge food bits stuck between your teeth.

#4. Interdental Flossing Brushes: Cleans out debris stuck on the braces, wires, and between your teeth.

#5. AirFloss: Shoots out bursts of air to clean your teeth.

Is It Better to Floss Before You Brush or Vice-versa?

Floss Before You Brush

Image source: Pinterest

Studies have shown that flossing before you brush is better at reducing plaque build-up in the mouth, and here’s why.

Floss Before Brushing

Every time you eat, some bits of food are bound to get stuck between your teeth. Using dental floss to get them out can help you clean your mouth better while also making it easier for you to brush your teeth later. If you brush first and floss later, a lot of the food bits that come out during flossing will remain on your teeth until the next time you brush or floss.

Floss After You Brush

It’s not that flossing after brushing is bad for you or unhelpful in any way. But regardless of whether or not you floss after brushing you must floss before. This sequence is important to ensure the removal of all food bits and prevent plaque build-up.

Flossing Tools

Here are some of the flossing tools you can use to keep your gums and teeth clean.

  • Traditional Dental Floss

Dental Floss

Image source: Pinterest

Traditional dental floss are available in both waxed and non-waxed varieties. They come in small concealed rolls, which allow you to pull out as much floss as you need and break it off.

  • Oral Irrigators

Oral Irrigators

Image source: Pinterest

Oral irrigators are handheld devices that push water at a high speed through a small jet. It allows for effective food and plaque cleansing. They’re ideal for people with braces who can’t get a string between their teeth.

  • Interdental Brushes

Interdental Brushes

Image source: Pinterest

An interdental brush is a small brush designed for removing stubborn pieces of food or plaque from between your teeth. This tool reaches areas that a regular toothbrush cannot. It has incredibly thin and flexible bristles that you can push into the spaces between your teeth as you’re brushing.

Other Dental Hygiene Tips

Dental Hygiene Tips

#1. Always brush your teeth before going to bed to prevent plaque from building up during the night.

#2. Don’t forget to clean your tongue. You can purchase a tongue scraper or use the back of your brush if it comes with a tongue cleaner. Your tongue also needs regular cleaning as it can also cause bad breath if left unclean.

#3. Use a toothpaste containing Fluoride. Fluoride is the leading substance that can help combat germs and prevent tooth decay.

#4. Floss as often as you brush and floss right before brushing.

#5. Consider purchasing a mouthwash; they have several benefits like reducing acid build-up in the mouth.

#6. Stay hydrated; don’t let your mouth go dry.

#7. Avoid or limit your consumption of fizzy beverages, sugary sweets or drinks, and alcohol.

#8. If you smoke cigarettes, try to quit smoking altogether. Tobacco is notorious for causing gum disease and tooth decay early in adults, although it is also unhealthy for a plethora of other reasons.

FAQ

When, And How Often, Should You Floss?

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends flossing at least once a day using traditional floss or an interdental cleaner unless you have braces, in which case you can opt for oral irrigators.

How Do You Properly Floss?

The proper way to floss is to get the strings between the teeth, bend them along the edges of each tooth, and scrape back and forth from the top, all the way down to the gum area.

Is It Better to Use Mouthwash Before or After You Brush And Floss?

There’s a lot of speculation concerning mouthwash. Some experts say it’s better to use mouthwash before brushing and flossing because it gets a lot of food out, making the following two steps easier. Some argue you should avoid mouthwash immediately after brushing, and use it later. It’s probably best to check with your dentist on this one.


Featured image source: Pinterest.com

bad taste in the mouth after wisdom teeth removal
Life Tips

Bad Taste in The Mouth After Wisdom Teeth Removal? Learn Why

Just had your wisdom teeth removed? Halitosis or bad breath is a common effect that can last for a while after you have your wisdom tooth removed. Fortunately, there are some effective ways to manage it.

If you’re experiencing bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth after wisdom teeth removal, this article is for you. Read on to know what can cause a bad taste in your mouth and how you can manage it.

Wisdom Tooth Removal and Bad Breath

Wisdom Tooth RemovalHave you been noticing a bad taste in your mouth after wisdom teeth removal? But is bad breath or a bad taste linked to wisdom teeth removal?

There are many reasons for bad breath, and tooth removal is one of them. Habits like smoking or drinking can also add to the bad breath or taste in such an extensive way that you won’t be able to tell where the bad breath is coming from.

However, studies have demonstrated that there is a link between wisdom teeth removal and bad breath. And there are a few reasons for this.

What Causes Bad Breath After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

What Causes Bad Breath

  • Flow Of Blood

When you’re getting your teeth removed, you are first put to sleep or under anesthesia. Then, a pair of forceps is used to pull out the tooth by its root. This can cause a lot of bleeding as there is now a big opening in your gums. It is a wound that can take a few days to clot and heal itself. The blood that is released from your gums can create an unpleasant taste and odor in your mouth.

  • Poor Oral Hygiene After Extraction

As previously stated, the open wound that is caused by wisdom tooth removal can take time to heal. This wound is usually also incredibly sensitive during the first few days. So you might avoid brushing in that area to avoid disrupting the healing process. However, this causes a build-up of tartar and bacteria that eventually makes your mouth taste and smell foul.

  • Medications

You might be prescribed some medications by your dentist to help you heal. Bad breath can be a side effect of these medications.

Is It Normal to Have Bad Breath?

Bad breath is more common than you think and can happen for a number of reasons. Sometimes it’s just because of the time of the day — we’ve all heard of morning breath. If you’ve just had your wisdom teeth removed, you will most certainly experience a rancid-like taste in your mouth. And if you naturally have breath problems, it would probably add to the bad taste in mouth after wisdom teeth removal.

How Long Does It Last?

How long bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth after wisdom teeth removal will last will depend on how fast that wound in our mouth is healing. If you’re following up on your medications and brushing your teeth well, it will usually subside in a day or two.

However, if the bad breath persists beyond that, it may be time to consider other factors that may be causing bad breath and taste in your mouth. For example, what’s in your body and the things you consume can play a major role in your oral hygiene.

Other Causes of Bad Breath

Other Causes

  • Food

One of the main causes of bad breath is what you consume. Some foods are known to leave residue in the mouth that can cause bad breath for a long time. And if you’re not brushing regularly, the food residue that may be stuck in your teeth can start giving off an even more pungent smell.

Here are some foods that cause bad breath:

#1. Garlic

#2. Onions

#3. Dairy

#4. Horseradish

#5. Coffee

#6. Alcohol

#7. Peanut Butter

#8. Fish

Sometimes, adding fresh herbs like parsley, basil or mint can help mitigate the bad breath as they contain strong oils. There are also several fresh fruits you can eat like melons, pears, and apples that help mask the bad taste of tooth removal.

  • Poor Dental Hygiene

Every time you eat, small bits of food can get stuck in your teeth, gums, and on your tongue. After a while, bacteria in your mouth begin to feed on these food bits and produce a sticky film on your teeth called plaque.

Plaque contains acids that can break down the enamel on your teeth and cause cavities. If left untreated, it can even result in root canals. Extended periods of not brushing can also lead to the plaque hardening into tartar, which is a calcified deposit that even brushing won’t get rid of.

Not brushing regularly can increase the chances of tooth decay and gum disease, which will cause foul breath. The most ideal dental care routine is brushing, flossing, and using a tongue scraper to clean your tongue. It’s important to brush after every meal or twice a day at the least.

  • Dry Mouth

Saliva helps to clean your mouth. So if you have a dry mouth, it can cause bad breath. The best way to avoid this is to stay hydrated, especially during the summers.

  • Tobacco

Smoking tobacco can make your breath stink and in many ways.

#1. The smell of the cigarette smoke still lingering on your breath.

#2. Smoking can cause mouth dryness.

#3. Studies have shown that smoking can lead to gum diseases and tooth loss, both of which cause bad breath.

#4. Eating tobacco can cause stains on your teeth that are hard to remove with brushing.

  • Infections

Mouth infections like gum disease, chronic sinus infections, respiratory infections, bronchitis, food poisoning are all examples of infections that are correlated to bad breath. Other health conditions like diabetes, GERD, and kidney disease are also known to cause bad breath.

To reduce your risk of infections, you need to eat well and exercise so that your body’s immune system is strengthened. A lot of the time, the causes of bad breath are deeply rooted in lifestyle choices.

How To Get Rid of Bad Taste After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Get Rid of Bad Taste

One of the main reasons why you may be experiencing a bad taste is the course of antibiotics. Once the course is over, that taste will subside. As for the annoying blood taste, there are some ways to take care of that. Here are some tips:

#1. Brush your teeth regularly and carefully to avoid the area your tooth was extracted from. Avoid using mouthwash until your wound heals.

#2. Rinse your mouth with warm saline water multiple times a day.

#3. Eat/drink foods like parsley, apples, pears, celery, carrots, yogurt, green tea, and cucumbers. They all help mask bad breath and leave your palate with a good taste.

#4. Avoid smoking or drinking for a few days.

#5. Consider purchasing a low-strength 100% natural mouth freshener spray, but only in extreme cases.