Our Patients Ask: Should I Brush or Floss First?
Brushing and flossing, flossing and brushing. They’re both important parts of keeping your mouth healthy and your teeth beautiful. But which should you do first? Does it matter? Here’s what we say when our patients ask, “Should I brush or floss first?”
As with many things in life, the question of whether you should brush or floss first doesn’t have a single right answer, as many different people have different opinions.
Here are some thoughts from both sides of the brushing first vs. flossing first argument.
The Case for Brushing Before Flossing
Many people make the case that you should brush before you floss.
Their argument is that when you brush with toothpaste, the fluoride from the toothpaste left in your mouth after you’ve brush gets better wedged in between your teeth when you’re flossing after you’ve brushed. These interdental surfaces are difficult to get to with just a toothbrush, so flossing after you brush helps gets that protective fluoride where it wouldn’t get if you flossed before you brushed.
The Case for Flossing Before Brushing
The other side of the argument, of course, is that you should floss before you brush.
People who believe this see the advantage to flossing before you brush being that flossing loosens food particles from between your teeth and along your gum line, which you can then brush away when you brush, giving you a cleaner and healthier mouth overall.
It Doesn’t Matter, As Long as You Do Both!
Some opinion is that it doesn’t really matter whether you brush or floss first, as long as you do both on a daily basis.
Colgate posted an article addressing this exact question in their Oral Care Center, in which they stated:
“The sequence makes no difference as long as you do a thorough job. Brushing and flossing is the best way to remove decay-causing plaque from your teeth and help maintain optimal oral health.”
So, Should I Brush or Floss First?
In the absence of any hard evidence that shows any statistical advantage to whether you should brush or floss first, we’re going to sit right on top of that fence and say it doesn’t really matter as long as you do both, and that it really comes down to personal preference.
Orion Dental provides a full range of dental services for the entire family, ranging from regular cleanings and checkups to teeth whitening to braces and retainers.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly dentist, contact either of our Milton or Scarborough offices and book your first appointment, and let us help you and your family get the brightest, healthiest smiles possible!