Patients at Meadowbrook Family Dental in Elk Grove ask us if they should brush or floss first. Truly, there is no clear answer and personal preference plays a big role in your choice. However, if you are weighing the pros and cons, here are a few qualifying factors that may help answer the question What Should You Do First, Brush or Floss? Of course, the key factor for good oral health is to floss once per day and brush twice a day for two minutes each.
Brush First then Floss
Avoid looking at the debris and foods leftover in between your teeth by gently massaging them out before you floss. After you brush, plaque begins to build up around and on your teeth. This sticky substance should be broken up at least once a day with flossing around the tooth to prevent the formation of hard tartar. Many patients dislike touching the plaque substance on their teeth when they floss before they brush. If you brush first, you can remove all the ‘gross’ plaque and just remove the hard-to-get debris.
Floss First then Brush
Loosening the debris between your teeth before you brush can create a deeper clean. If you floss before you brush it removes the debris stuck between the teeth and opens a path between your teeth for the fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush bristles. Using floss before you brush also helps you create a blueprint of where you should brush. If an area bleeds, is overly sensitive or has excessive plaque, then you can focus a larger percentage of your brush time on those areas. Lastly, it is easier to give up on using floss when your teeth feel fresh and clean after brushing.
Deciding to floss before or after you brush depends on your personal habits and preferences. If you have more questions about the best practices to brush or floss, call our friendly staff at Meadowbrook Family Dental at 916-307-6035. As always, the best way to keep your teeth healthy is to floss once a day and brush twice a day for two minutes each!