From the time they’re children, everyone is taught to brush and floss regularly. Of course, these are good habits to build that will keep your teeth healthy throughout your life. But when it comes down to it, should you floss before or after brushing? Does it make a difference, or is it just a technicality?
In this article, we’ll explore how flossing works and whether it’s more effective to floss before or after you brush.
How Flossing Works: A Quick Primer
Not many of us floss regularly, even if we’re otherwise careful about maintaining good oral health. But flossing is an important way of cleaning your teeth, and this is because it is effectively able to reach the places inside your mouth that your toothbrush cannot: in between the teeth and where each tooth meets the gums.
Why is this important? Because while your teeth perform their jobs chewing and breaking up food, they accumulate a lot of food debris on their surfaces and between them. This combines with saliva and bacteria inside your mouth and forms dental plaque.
You must clean dental plaque off your teeth regularly, or it hardens into tartar – which only a qualified dentist can remove. It also contributes to bacterial buildup, and the bacteria produce acids that dissolve tooth enamel. Now, while brushing takes care of plaque buildup on the teeth, it can’t reach the tightest crevices between them that floss can reach.
If you know this already, that’s great! But what about the question of whether you should floss before or after brushing?
Conclusion: Should You Floss Before Or After Brushing?
Experts say it’s generally a good idea to floss first, then brush your teeth.
There’s a pretty good reason behind this: flossing can dislodge and free stuck particles between your teeth. Then, when you begin brushing, the physical action of the brush and the detergent action of the toothpaste can sweep away all the debris in one go before you rinse.
Think about it: if you brush first and finish up spitting and rinsing first, flossing can dislodge the plaque and bacteria between your teeth – only for it to end up sitting there inside your mouth.
However, if you floss first and brush afterward, you get much more cleaning power from your toothbrush. Plus, the space between the teeth you just cleaned up by flossing will have toothpaste reach inside it, which will help clean it even better. If you use fluoride toothpaste, that means that the normally “unexposed” part of the tooth enamel will finally get fluoride exposure. This will help strengthen it and prevent the formation of cavities. Sounds great!
If you have any questions about your oral hygiene, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Katy Cypress Oral Surgery – our dedicated dental team will be happy to help. Our significant experience in oral surgery has led us to adopt the best practices for delivering top-quality dental care to our patients. So, feel free to give us a call at (281) 667-0607, and we’d love to see you.
We look forward to scheduling your appointment with us. See firsthand the difference that a skilled, compassionate team can make.