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Brushing vs Flossing: Which Comes First

Dentists recommend brushing and flossing as part of a good oral hygiene routine, which many people understand. Some patients, on the other hand, are unsure about the finer points, such as what order they should be completed or whether one is more important than the other. Our Warman dentists discuss brushing and flossing in great detail today.

A question you might have had before starting your daily oral health care routine is "should I be brushing my teeth first, or should I floss first".  In this post, our Warman dentists aim to solve this very quandary. The first thing we need to do then is talk about the importance of brushing and flossing and what each practice does for us.

Reasons to Brush

The reasons to brush one's teeth need no introduction, it is one of the first lessons in cleanliness that many children learn. We recommend our patients brush their teeth at least twice a day. Brushing cleans our teeth and clears out plaque and bacteria that can hurt our oral health. When done properly, brushing excels at cleaning the surfaces of teeth as well as at cleaning our gums.

Brushing twice a day helps by keeping teeth and gums clean, limiting the buildup of harmful bacteria and; ideally, preventing gum disease and tooth decay. This routine complements your regular visits to the dentist for dental cleanings and exams.

Reasons to Floss

Flossing is beneficial because it cleans areas of the mouth that brushing does not always reach. Flossing is recommended to keep the spaces between our teeth and just below the gum line free of bacteria and plaque. As a result of flossing's assistance in keeping our mouths clean, we may experience fewer health complications and have a better overall experience when it comes to maintaining good oral health.

At least once a day, flossing is recommended. Because oral hygiene is so much about routine and habit, we recommend keeping your floss somewhere visible so that the act of brushing and flossing becomes inextricably linked in your mind. If one comes to mind, the other should as well, to ensure that all of your teeth are properly cared for.

Should you brush or floss first?

We recommend flossing before brushing your teeth. What is most important is that you always do both per your dental care routine.

We recommend flossing first due in large part to the possibility of flossing to loosen bacteria and food debris both on and between our teeth. This can make brushing more successful at removing food particles. 

Another benefit applies if you use toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride is a compound of fluorine with another element or group, and it helps keep teeth clean. If you floss after brushing, it is more likely to remove the fluoride in your toothpaste, which might make it less effective.

When it comes to maintaining an excellent standard of oral health care, we should always try our hardest, and small changes can have a big impact on our dental care routines. One of those small changes could be brushing after flossing. If you've been flossing after brushing, we recommend doing the opposite and flossing before brushing.

For more advice on your daily oral hygiene routine, contact our Warman dentists for a consultation. 

(306) 933-3221