Flossing 101: Answering Your Most Asked Questions

Stop Plaque in its Tracks

Flossing should be an integral part of everyone’s dental health routine. You should be flossing in addition to brushing to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy. While many people know they should be flossing, they still have many other questions about flossing. That’s why at Sladky Family Dental in Glendale, WI we have put together this list of answers to some of the most common questions about flossing.

How Often Should You Floss?

You should floss at least once per day. While flossing once per day is sufficient, the American Dental Association notes that flossing 2 or 3 times per day can be excellent for your oral health. If you are having trouble remembering to floss it can be helpful to leave a visual cue for yourself, such as leaving your floss on the counter or placing a sticky note on your bathroom mirror.

Should You Floss Before or After Brushing?

A study by the American Academy of Periodontology suggests that the order of brushing and flossing can have an impact on your oral health. This study found that flossing first followed by brushing with a fluoride toothpaste was more effective than brushing first and flossing after. The study also found that flossing before brushing resulted in more fluoride retention between the teeth. Although it may be best to floss before brushing, it’s important to remember that flossing at all is more beneficial for your dental health. Even if you floss after you brush, your dental health will be much better off than if you didn’t floss at all.

Can I Use a Waterpik Instead of Flossing?

Waterpiks, also known as oral irrigators, have become very popular in recent years. They use a directed, forceful stream of water to remove food debris and plaque from between teeth. Oral irrigators can be very useful in helping people reach hard-to-get places and make it easier for people with braces or other oral appliances to clean around them. We recommend that you floss immediately before or after using an oral irrigator to ensure optimum oral health.

Why Do My Gums Bleed When Flossing?

The most common cause of bleeding gums when flossing is a buildup of plaque, tartar, & bacteria around your gums. This buildup can inflame and irritate your gums, causing them to bleed when you floss. However, bleeding gums can also be caused by periodontal disease, hormonal changes, certain medical conditions, and flossing the wrong way. If you have concerns about your gums bleeding, you should have a conversation with your dentist. 

Hopefully, we were able to answer some of your pressing questions about flossing. If you have any other questions about flossing or dental health, give our office a call at 414-332-5450. We are always happy to answer your questions.


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Sladky Family Dental

500 W. Silver Spring Dr., Suite K275
Glendale, Wisconsin 53217
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Monday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 10:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Friday-Sunday: Closed



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