The Tooth On: Flossing

December 19, 2023

The Tooth On: Flossing

Your common flossing questions answered!

Our team often gets asked great questions about flossing, so we wanted to share them with you.

If I use a water flosser like WaterPik®, should I still use regular floss

Water flossers, also called oral irrigators or water jets, are a great adjunct to increase oral health but they don’t replace regular flossing. So yes, you should still use regular floss. 

Should I floss the back of my molars?

Brushing and flossing your molars, or back teeth is critical for your oral health. Molars are irregular and easily harbor bacteria making them especially prone to decay. Flossing behind the last tooth helps avoid decay by removing plaque from the areas your brush cannot reach.

Should I use waxed, unwaxed, flavored, plain, tape floss?

Look for floss with the ADA Seal. There are certain types of oral disease progression where it may be beneficial for you to use a specific floss, but that flows would be specifically recommended by your hygienist or dentist.  Beyond that, the floss you choose is a personal preference. Typically, if you are attempting to floss your teeth with floss that has the ADA Seal, your dentist and hygienist will love it. 

Should I use dental floss, dental picks, or interdental brushes?

Normally, you should use regular dental floss. If you have advanced periodontal disease, your hygienist, dentist, or periodontist will recommend dental picks or interdental brushes. Incorrectly using dental picks and interdental brushes will cause more harm, so do not use them unless recommended by a healthcare provider and you are trained on how to use them. 

Which is better, brushing first or flossing first?

Switch it up. Floss first to break up dental plaque, which will all the brush to remove the plaque. Then, brush first to allow the fluoride to get in-between teeth when flossing.  

We'd love to answer your questions in person! 

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