Should I Brush Or Floss My Teeth First?
We recently polled our wonderful patients to check out their flossing habits and found some interesting results, but does it matter in which order you brush and floss your teeth?
In the past we have typically relied on anecdotal or conjectural evidence to support either side of the claim.
“Floss first, because you’re more likely to not rush through this important task”
“Brush first, because the fluoride from the toothpaste will be pushed in between teeth while flossing”
“Floss first, because it will break up plaque between the teeth that the brush will then remove”
Statements like this have been common in the past, but a recent study from The Journal of Periodontology in 2018 has finally provided statistically significant information that brushing before flossing is …. NOT AS GOOD.
This may come as a shock since the majority of our participants reported that they do indeed brush their teeth before flossing. Similar to sweeping a floor before you mop it, flossing first eliminates large food particles stuck between your teeth. This then allows the toothbrush to reach small gaps and crevices that would have been blocked otherwise.
This leads to a statistically significant reduction in total plaque and an increase in fluoride concentration between the teeth.
In the end, it is far more important that you are thorough and consistent with your brushing and flossing than the order you choose to do them in. However, if you want to maximize your morning and bedtime routine, try flossing first!