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Brushing vs Flossing: Which Comes First

Many people understand that on a basic level, brushing and flossing are recommended by dentists as part of a good oral hygiene routine. However, some patients are unclear on the finer details, like which order they should be done in or if one is more important than the other. Today, our dentists in Nepean discuss brushing and flossing in detail. 

Before starting your daily oral healthcare routine, you may have asked yourself, "Should I be brushing my teeth first, or should I floss first?". Today, our Nepean dentists aim to answer this very question. The first thing we need to do is discuss the importance of brushing and flossing and what each practice does for us. 

Reasons to Brush

One of the first lessons in cleanliness that many children learn is how to brush one's teeth, and the reasons for this need no introduction. We recommend patients brush their teeth at least twice per day. Brushing cleans our teeth and clear out bacteria and plaque that can negatively impact our oral health. When done properly, brushing excels at cleaning the teeth's surfaces as well as at cleaning our gums. 

By brushing twice a day, we can help limit the accumulation of harmful bacteria, keep our teeth and gums clean and ideally prevent gum disease and tooth decay. This routine should be paired with your regular visits to the dentist for dental cleanings and exams.

Reasons to Floss

Flossing is important because it helps keep the areas of our mouth clean that brushing does not always reach. Flossing ideally keeps the spaces between our teeth, as well as just below the gum line, free of unwanted bacteria and 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 recommend 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 act of brushing and the act of flossing. Where one comes to mind, so should the other, to ensure the entirety of your teeth receive the care they require.

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 flossing first due in large part to the possibility of flossing to 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.

For more advice on your daily oral hygiene routine, contact our Nepean dentists for a consultation. 

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