Flossing is an important part of the oral hygiene regime, but unfortunately, it’s usually ignored by many individuals. Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly minimizes the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. If you now feel motivated about flossing, do you know if you should floss before or after brushing your teeth?

In this article, you’ll learn how practicing good oral habits – brushing and flossing keep your teeth healthy and in perfect shape. We’ll also explore if you should floss before or after brushing and if it makes any difference or not.

Importance of Flossing

Flossing is essential to keep your teeth clean. Whenever you eat something, the tiny food particles get clogged in your mouth. The gaps between your teeth and space between gums are the favorite place for small foody bits. These spaces are also a habitat of bacteria, but it’s nothing to worry about as good bacteria are beneficial for your oral health. When these bacteria contact the food debris, they start feeding on them and produce harmful byproducts. A thin layer of bacteria builds up in the mouth known as plaque.

Only brushing your teeth can help get rid of this sticky bacterial film, but there are certain areas in your mouth that the toothbrush bristles can’t clean. And here, flossing comes to the rescue.

Flossing Before Or After Brushing: Is The Order Significant?

Yes, the order does matter. Floss your teeth thoroughly before you brush your teeth.

Flossing gets rid of the stuck food debris. Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste combines the movement action with the cleaning properties of toothpaste. The combined power removes the particles and layer of plaque from your teeth, giving you a cleaner and fresher smile.

If you reverse the order and brush before flossing, the food debris you just removed from hiding places doesn’t have anywhere to go until you brush the next time. They will keep sitting inside your mouth, continuously contacting your teeth and gums, and the residing bacteria make you more prone to gingivitis.

The best pattern is to floss FIRST brush AFTER. This makes complete sense as flossing will bring out the stuck food debris and other harmful particles in the open that will now be carried away with brushing.

Additional dental hygiene tips

  • Floss daily, once a day either after waking up or before going to bed.
  • Avoid the use of toothpicks to get rid of the food debris clogged between your teeth. It can damage your gums.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes. Make sure to brush all surfaces (inner and outer) of your teeth.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth. This remineralizes the enamel and prevents cavities.
  • Be gentle while flossing, or you may end up with bleeding gums.
  • Brush your tongue too. It eliminates bacteria and gives a fresher breath.
  • Use only American Dental Association (ADA) approved dental products.
  • See your dentist for cleanings every six months.

If you have any more questions about brushing, flossing, or anything regarding your oral hygiene routine, contact your dental expert Dr. Jeevan Ghatnekar DDS. To schedule an appointment, call 949-552-1380.