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Brushing vs Flossing: Which Comes First

Many people know that brushing and flossing are both recommended by dentists as part of a good oral hygiene routine. However, some patients are unclear about which should be done first. Today, our Brandon dentists talk about brushing and flossing in detail.

A question you might have had prior to starting your daily oral health care routine is "should I be brushing my teeth first, or should I floss first". 

Here, our Brandon dentists explain the answer to this question. The first thing to cover is the importance of brush and flossing generally and what each does for us.

Reasons to Brush

You are likely pretty familiar with why you need to brush your teeth. In fact, tooth brushing may be one of the first lessons in taking care of your body that you learned as a child. We recommend that our patients brush their teeth at least twice each day to clean their teeth and clear out plaque or bacteria that have a negative effect on our oral health. 

When done properly, brushing is one of the best ways to clean the surfaces of teeth as well as at cleaning our 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 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 each day. Oral hygiene care is largely about routine and habit, so we also recommend leaving your floss somewhere that it is clearly visible, connecting the two in your mind and making sure your floss is always at-hand when you think to use it.

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.

You should always try your best when it comes to maintaining your at-home oral hygiene routine. Small choices to maintain your smile, made every day, can have an outsized impact on your oral health. Choosing to brush after flossing could be one of those small changes. If you have to this point flossed after brushing, we suggest that you try to switch things up.

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

New Patients Always Welcome

Looking for a dentist in Brandon? We're happily accepting new patients at our dental clinic! Contact us to get started. 

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