Brushing vs Flossing: Which Comes First

Many people understand on a basic level that dentists recommend brushing and flossing as part of a good oral hygiene routine. However, some patients are unsure of the finer details, such as the order in which they should be performed or whether one is more important than the other. Today, our dentists at London discuss brushing and flossing in detail.

Before beginning your daily oral health care routine, you may have wondered "should I brush my teeth first or should I floss?" Our London dentists hope to resolve this conundrum in this post. The first thing we need to do is discuss the importance of brushing and flossing and the benefits of each practice.

Reasons to Brush

Brushing one's teeth is self-explanatory; it is one of the first lessons in cleanliness that many children learn. We recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day to our patients. Brushing our teeth cleans them and removes plaque and bacteria that can wreak havoc on our oral health. When performed properly, brushing excels at cleaning both the surfaces of our teeth and 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 critical because it helps maintain the cleanliness of areas of our mouth that brushing does not always reach. Ideally, flossing removes unwanted bacteria and buildup from the spaces between our teeth and just below the gum line. As a result, flossing's assistance in keeping our mouths clean can result in fewer health complications and an overall better experience with oral health maintenance.

Flossing at least once a day is recommended. Because oral hygiene is largely about routine and habit, we also recommend leaving your floss in a prominent location to cement the connection between brushing and flossing in your mind. Where one comes to mind, the other should as well, to ensure that your entire mouth receives the care it requires.

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 for a variety of reasons, one of which is the potential for flossing to loosen bacteria and food debris on and between our teeth. This can increase the effectiveness of brushing in removing food particles.

Another advantage exists if you use fluoride-containing toothpaste. Fluoride is a fluorine compound combined with another element or group that aids in tooth cleaning. If you floss immediately after brushing, you are more likely to remove the fluoride in your toothpaste, reducing its effectiveness.

We should always strive to maintain the highest possible standard of oral health care, and sometimes small changes can have a significant impact on our dental care routines. Brushing immediately after flossing may be one of those subtle changes. If you've previously flossed after brushing, we recommend doing the opposite and flossing before brushing.

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

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