To begin with, it’s hard to believe that anyone would want to rinse and reuse a strand of floss. But apparently the idea has gained enough traction to be featured on the American Dental Association’s (ADA) website.
According to the ADA, reusing floss can have three potential problems. In addition to a general ickiness factor, old floss may:
- Fray and unravel
- Lose its effectiveness
- Distribute bacteria to your mouth.
While none of these problems pose any serious threat to your oral health, if you’re going to take the time to floss, you might as well do it right. Please discard your floss after use.
By cleaning out hard-to-reach spaces between teeth, flossing once a day significantly decreases your chances of developing gum disease and tooth decay. There is no right or wrong time of the day to floss, as long as you’re doing a good job of it. Flossing right before you brush your teeth, however, may help the fluoride in your toothpaste reach between your teeth.