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Brushing vs Flossing: Which Comes First

Most people know that dentists recommend brushing and flossing your teeth every day. But, there are some finer points some patients aren't familiar with. Here, our Timmins dentists share some details you should know about brushing and flossing.

A question you might have regarding your daily oral health care routine is "should I be brushing my teeth first, or should I floss first". Today, our Timmins dentists do their best to answer this very question. The first thing we need to discuss is the importance of brushing and flossing and how they benefit us.

Why You Need to Brush Your Teeth

The reasons to brush one's teeth need no introduction, for many people, it's one of the first lessons in cleanliness they learn as children. We recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing cleans our teeth and clears out plaque and bacteria that can have a negative effect on 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 keep your gums and teeth clean, as well as limits the buildup of harmful bacteria, and ideally, prevents gum disease and tooth decay. This routine complements your regular dentist appointments for dental cleanings and exams.

Why You Should Floss

Flossing is important because it helps clean the areas of our mouth that brushing can't always reach. Ideally, flossing keeps the spaces between our teeth, as well as just below the gum line, free of unwanted bacteria and buildup. As a result, flossing helps keep our mouths clean and can result in fewer health complications and an overall better experience when it comes to the maintenance of good oral health.

We suggest flossing at least once a day. Oral hygiene care is largely about routine and habit, so we also recommend leaving your floss somewhere clearly visible, forming an imperishable bond in your mind between the acts of brushing and flossing. Where one comes to mind, so should the other, to make sure the entirety of your teeth gets the care they need.

Is it Best to Brush or Floss First?

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

One of the biggest reasons why we recommend flossing first is because this task can 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.

We should always try and do the best we can when it comes to maintaining an excellent standard of oral health care, and sometimes small changes can have an outsized impact on our dental care routines. Choosing to brush after flossing could be one of those small changes. If you have to this point flossed after brushing, we suggest trying the inverse, and flossing before brushing.

Contact our Timmins dentists and schedule a consultation if you would like to get more advice about your daily oral hygiene routine. 

We can help you and your family work toward a healthy smile. Visit us at Hollinger Dental Group!

(705) 267-1020 Contact