Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly are essential components to maintaining good overall oral health. Brushing helps remove most food and plaque from your teeth, and flossing is important because it removes the food particles a toothbrush can’t reach. When you brush and floss regularly, you are making huge strides toward preventing cavities, gum disease, gingivitis, and bad breath.
You should brush for at least 2 minutes to remove all plaque and food particles from your teeth. Although many people brush their teeth immediately after eating, your teeth are exposed to acidic food and drink when you eat, and this can soften the enamel.
Brushing immediately after a meal may increase the risk of enamel erosion, so it is actually best to wait at least 60 minutes after eating to brush your teeth.
Ideal oral hygiene would mean flossing after every meal, but you should floss at least once a day. With practice, flossing will only add a single minute to your oral hygiene routine. The best time of day to floss is before bed, since this will remove any remaining food particles from the day and prevent bacteria from spreading through your mouth overnight. Both waxed and unwaxed floss effectively remove plaque from your teeth, so you may use either one. Many people find that waxed floss slides more easily between teeth and is less likely to shred while flossing.