Brush or Floss First? Our Family Dental Care Clinic Answers Questions Patients are Too Embarrassed to Ask
The age-old question: should you floss before or after brushing?
According to dental hygiene experts, you should floss and then brush your teeth. Most dentists will agree that the most important thing is that you regularly brush and floss. That said, there is a science behind why you should floss before brushing your teeth. Book a check up at our family dental care clinic today!
Why Is It Better to Floss Before Brushing?
Good oral hygiene involves more than brushing your teeth; that much is true. Flossing your teeth removes plaque and food from in between your teeth and helps to prevent gum disease. Cleaning between your teeth loosens bacteria and food debris from between the teeth where toothbrush bristles are unable to reach. For this reason, our family dental care clinic recommends brushing after flossing helps get rid of the bacteria and food debris.
Simply put, flossing before brushing leaves your mouth much cleaner.
A cleaner mouth means fewer plaque bacteria, which are the main causative agents behind the development of periodontal or gum disease. Plaque usually hardens on the teeth within 24 to 36 hours. As such, it's important to floss every day to prevent it from doing so.
What’s more, by loosening the plaque, flossing allows your toothpaste to make better contact with your tooth enamel, so it can do a better job protecting your teeth. The fluoride in your toothpaste protects against tooth decay and helps re-mineralize weakened tooth enamel.
Here’s a tip: Don’t rinse your mouth after brushing.
Now, this may come as a surprise to those who are used to rinsing out their mouth with water or mouthwash. However, rinsing after brushing washes away fluoride from your mouth. As a result, the act of brushing is a little less effective at preventing tooth decay. It’s important for the fluoride to remain on your teeth for as long as possible.
How to Floss the Right Way
Always floss your teeth at least once a day—whether you floss in the morning or at night before bed is purely up to you.
Dentists at our family dental care clinic recommend spending at least two minutes brushing your teeth. With enough practice, flossing will probably add another minute or so to your dental hygiene routine. And yes, there is a proper way to floss.
Here’s a step-by-step guide from our family dental care clinic:
- Hold the floss correctly by winding most of it around both of your middle fingers and use your thumbs and index fingers to keep it taut.
- Place the dental floss between two teeth in a C-shape and gently glide it up and down. Doing so allows the floss to enter the space between your gums and teeth.
- Don’t glide the floss into your gums as this could injure them
- Repeat the steps above as you move from tooth to tooth, making sure to use a new, clean section of the floss.
Get a Flossing Demo at Your Next Visit to Millrise Dental Clinic
The dental hygienists at our family dental care clinic would love to help you get a handle on the proper flossing technique. Visit our office and let our dentists provide you with the quality dental care you deserve.