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  • Writer's pictureADentalTip

Flossing after you Brush but before you Rinse?

In one of our very first blogs we explained why we believe flossing before you brush may provide the best results and benefits. If you never got a change to read that blog, here is a brief explanation of why we believe this method is the best approach, "by flossing first you remove the plaque that is covering the tooth's surface in between them.... this will allow the fluoride minerals in the toothpaste... to have contact with the tooth's enamel surface instead of the plaque on the tooth's surface... maximizing it's cavity preventing abilities."

This past week I met another dental professional who has a different approach to flossing and we would like to share it with you. They teach and recommend for their patients to floss after they brush, but before they spit out the toothpaste and rinse their mouths. When I first heard them say this I did not think much of it, but once I understood their logic I sort of liked the idea.

Their logic behind this approach to flossing is that by brushing first and not rinsing out, you allow the minerals in the toothpaste (Fluoride & Calcium) to be pushed/forced into the interproximal surfaces (areas in between the teeth) of the tooth enamel when you are flossing. Allowing these interproximal surfaces to come in contact with more of these useful minerals.

So we decided to give this order of brushing and flossing a try, compared the the pros and cons of this method and this is what we gathered:

-Although we do believe that flossing before you rinse can help push/force fluoride and calcium minerals into these areas. We believe that some of these areas don't have a sufficient amount of time to be exposed to these minerals. For example, the last tooth you floss only has a few seconds of contact with the Fluoride before you have to rinse out. Unless of course, you wait a few minutes after you have flossed all of your teeth before you finally rinse.

-Flossing is already difficult for most people, and having to do this when your mouth is full of toothpaste may only discourage patients from doing it even more due to how messy it can get. This may also prevent patients from doing the "c-shape" flossing technique properly, since it is almost necessary to be looking at a mirror to be doing it correctly.

Because of these reasons we won't be recommending this approach to flossing to most of our patients. However, we may recommended this different approach to patients who are diligent flossers, have a good C-shape technique (without a mirror) and don't mind waiting a minute or two after they floss their last tooth.

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