We all know that proper oral hygiene includes both brushing and flossing, but what if you only have time to do one? Which is worse (or better?) to skip… brushing or flossing? It’s not a question we can easily answer. As proud White Rock dentists in British Columbia, we firmly believe that neither is good to skip!
But let’s look at a realistic scenario. Most people probably know what it’s like to feel so tired before bed that you want to skip your nighttime routine altogether. You might grab the toothbrush and give the teeth a quick dry scrub before falling asleep, but it’s more of a gesture than a proper brush. Sound familiar?
Most people tend to skip flossing, partly because brushing is more ingrained into their minds (it’s the first thing you learn about dental hygiene as a child) and it seems more effective to just run a toothbrush through the mouth. But in reality, ifboth are done properly, it’s probably better to floss rather than brush (if you hadto choose just one to do).
However! One problem we often encounter is that people don’t tend to floss 100% effectively. They get the floss between their teeth, pull it up to the gum line and then move onto the next tooth in line. To effectively floss, you should create a C-shape with the flossand run it up and down both sides of the tooth and up to the gum line. It is important to cover as much surface area as possible.
Unfortunately, people aren’t always that great at flossing, and it is often the thing that gets neglected. But lots of people don’t brush effectively either. They tend to miss the back teeth and along the gum line in both the front and back of the teeth.
The point of both flossing and brushing is to remove plaque buildup from the teeth so that it doesn’t cause decay, which can lead to more severe issues like gum disease and eventually may cause a dental emergency. Brushing is good at removing plaque from the surface of the teeth, but flossing gets into places whereplaque can be more sneaky. It’s very important to get remove plaque from those more difficult places, and to do it often.
Even on those nights when you feel too exhausted for your bedtime routine, it’s still best to try and rally some energy to give your teeth a proper brush and floss. You will not regret it in the morning! While we say don’t skipflossing, something is better than nothing. And if you do a half-hearted job before going to bed, be sure to spend a little extra time in the morning to do a thorough clean.
If you have questions about your oral hygiene routine or are looking for a dental clinic in Surrey or the surrounding area, be in touch. We would love to help you make sure that you are brushing and flossing properly, and to help you achieve your optimal oral health.