Should you Brush or Floss first?
A frequent question I get asked by my patients is "Should I be brushing or flossing first?" Although there are good and valid arguments for which one you should be doing first, I believe that flossing before you brush is the most beneficial in helping prevent tooth decay and gum disease for a couple of reasons.
By flossing first you will help remove the plaque that is covering the tooth's surface in between them. This is important because by having a "clean" tooth surface it will allow the fluoride minerals in the toothpaste (when you're brushing afterwards) to reach in between the teeth and have direct contact with the tooth's surface. This direct contact allows the fluoride to maximize it's cavity preventing abilities on the enamel of the tooth.
If this plaque is not removed from the surface of the tooth before brushing, a fewer amount of fluoride minerals will be able to penetrate through the plaque layer and reach the enamel, therefore reducing it's abilities to protect the tooth from decay.
Also, by flossing first you are loosening the pieces of food that might be stuck in between them. Brushing and rinsing afterwards will remove these loose pieces of food, thus leaving less food behind that can potentially lead to tooth decay and/or gum disease.
PS: How effective you are being when you're brushing or flossing is more important than which one you're doing first, so make sure you have mastered your brushing and flossing techniques!
Hopefully you found this dental tip helpful. If you did, we would appreciate it if you shared it with your friends and family. It only takes 30 seconds of your time and it helps us out a lot. Thanks!