How Many Times per Day Should I Floss?


Daily flossing is an important part of a good oral health care regimen, and while most dental professionals recommend flossing at least once a day, you may wonder if it’s beneficial to floss more frequently. It’s a good idea to brush your teeth after meals, but should you also floss more than once per day, or is it detrimental to do it too often? Here’s what you need to know about flossing and how many times a day is best for your teeth.

Once a Day is Optimal

The American Dental Association agrees that if you remember to floss once a day, you will keep your teeth and gums healthy. It takes bacteria colonies in the mouth about 24 hours to fully form, so as long as you dislodge any food particles stuck in between your teeth once a day, you will keep tooth decay in check. While it’s not crucial to floss at a particular time of day, flossing before bedtime will get your mouth extra clean before you sleep and prevent bacteria from having a chance to feed on leftover food particles overnight.

Constant Over-Flossing Can Cause Damage

It is possible to have too much of a good thing, and flossing several times per day is not only not necessary, but it can also cause damage to your gums. Constant flossing can irritate the soft tissue and cause inflammation and bleeding. Flossing too vigorously can even wear down your gum line and erode tooth enamel over time. Give your gums a chance to recover, and only floss gently once a day, preferably at the same time each day. If you are too tired to floss before bedtime and are prone to skipping it as a result, it’s better to floss whenever you have time than not to floss at all.

Floss After Certain Meals

One exception to the flossing once per day rule is if you eat a particularly sticky, hard, or stringy food that gets caught in between your teeth. Foods like popcorn, sticky candy, apple skins, leafy greens, or stringy meats like spare ribs can all get caught between your teeth. This can both look unsightly and feel uncomfortable. You’ll be doing your teeth and gums a good service if you keep some dental floss picks handy for whenever you consume foods like these. The benefits of removing large pieces of food from between your teeth far outweigh the chances of any ill effects from including an additional flossing session.

Austex Dental offers comprehensive dental care for all ages, and we provide all of our patients with high-quality personalized care in a family-friendly environment. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment.

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