While many people have a solid understanding of brushing and flossing their teeth as part of good oral hygiene, some patients may unclear on the finer details. These include what order these should be done in and which is more important than the other. Here, our Collingwood dentists speak about brushing and flossing in greater detail.
One of the questions you might have before starting your daily oral health care routine is whether or not you should be brushing or flossing your teeth first. Here, our Collingwood dentists explain. The first thing to address, however, is the importance of the oral hygiene process and what each practice does for our dental health.
Reasons to Brush
You likely need no explanation about the reasons for brushing your teeth. How to brush your teeth is one of the first lessons in cleanliness that our children learn!
We advise that patients brush their teeth at least twice each day. Brushing your teeth clears out bacteria, plaque and bits of food that may have negative long-term effects on our oral health. When done properly, tooth-brushing excels at cleaning the surfaces of your teeth and your gums.
Brushing twice a day helps by keeping teeth and gums clean, limiting the buildup of harmful bacteria and, ideally, preventing gum disease and tooth decay. This routine complements your regular visits to the dentist for dental cleanings and exams.
Reasons to Floss
Flossing is incredibly important. It helps keep areas of our mouth clean that brushing can't always reach. Flossing will ideally keep the spaces between our teeth and below our gum line free from bacteria and plaque buildup.
In turn, flossing's aid in keeping our mouths clean can lead to fewer health complications and an overall better experience when it comes to the maintenance of good oral health.
We really advise that our patients floss at least once each day. Oral hygiene care is primarily about routines and habits, so we recommend leaving your floss somewhere clearly visible. This way, you start easily associating brushing with flossing.
Should you 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.
We recommend that you floss your teeth first. This is because flossing can loosen bacteria and food debris on and between our teeth, making it easier for our toothbrushes to scoop them away and out of our mouths.
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.