Elk Grove Smile Center

Which First, Brushing or Flossing? The Verdict Is In

December 29, 2021
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Posted By: Elk Grove Smile Center

People often refer to the "Big Questions." Who made us? Why are we here? What came first, the chicken or the egg? But, unfortunately, these are the kinds of inquiries lacking any one widely accepted answer, and over some, people are still fighting to this day.

But some big questions do have an answer, and at Elk Grove Smile Center, we're happy to offer the solution of an age-old mystery: which should you do first, brush or floss?

Floss, Then Brush for Best Results

In 2018, researchers conducted a study that showed flossing before brushing removed considerably more plaque than the other way around. Their conclusion is based on the fact that plaque is very sticky. So if flossing dislodges plaque and bacteria from between teeth, doing it first allows your toothbrush to brush it away.

But if you brush first and then floss, the loosened debris re-sticks to your tooth surfaces, diminishing half of your work. It's like taking a bath in dirty water or changing your car's oil without changing the filter. So the researchers also recommend you rinse your mouth after brushing to ensure plaque has been excised from your mouth.

Added Benefits of Flossing First

Another perk that you might be surprised to hear is that more fluoride remains in your mouth when flossing first. Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent cavities and tooth decay, and it's most desirable for higher concentrations to remain on your teeth after brushing.

And as most kinds of toothpaste are enriched with extra fluoride, you can make the most of it by flossing first, brushing thoroughly, and rinsing afterward.

Make Sure You Brush and Floss Daily

Although brushing and flossing sequence is now known to be necessary, everyone on the team at Elk Grove Smile Center agrees that it's most important to do both at least twice each day. Extra rinses, chewing sugar-free gum and drinking plenty of water in between sugary beverages also help uproot plaque and food debris between brushings, rinsing them away from your mouth for good.

Finally, your routine cleanings and exams with Dr. Vishal Advani are vital in catching any problems early and ensuring your best oral health.

General Dentistry in Elk Grove Village, IL

The foundation of good oral hygiene is your at-home routine, where we now know flossing before brushing is the optimal way to remove plaque and bacteria that lead to tooth decay, cavities, and worse. So if you haven't visited the dentist in a while, give us a call today.