Brush First, then Floss?

Is it better to floss before or after you brush your teeth? If you’re already set in your ways, perhaps a new routine is in order. And if you have kids, it’s best to get them on the right track with brushing and flossing (or is it flossing and brushing?) early on.

The truth is, even dental professionals take different sides when it comes to this debate. There are valid reasons all around, and frankly, we’d be glad just to know you take a stance at all, because it means you’re putting the dental floss to use. Here are some of the arguments favored by the “before” and “after” camps:

The “Before” Side

  • According to Discovery Fit & Health, cleaning out the spaces between your teeth by flossing allows for more coverage and penetration by the fluoride in your toothpaste.
  • Flossing breaks up and dislodges bacteria and debris, which the toothbrush can then sweep away.
  • Sometimes, waiting until after turns into skipping the floss altogether.

The “After” Side

  • Flossing removes the plaque that a toothbrush doesn’t get to.
  • Flossing afterward shows kids how much their toothbrush misses on its own.
  • Some people prefer to get a clean teeth feeling first, then flossing.

Our Side

Alameda and Pleasanton Pediatric Dentistry tends to side with the ADA on this one. Flossing before or after is fine! Flossing helps protect against gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath, and even cardiovascular disease and diabetes. As long as your little ones are modeling after you and learning to floss once a day, we’re happy.

Remind the little ones to wrap the floss around each tooth in a “C” shape to properly clean between the surfaces of the teeth. Flossing before bed is also a good idea to get the mouth nice and clean and help prevent bacteria from growing, especially because there’s less saliva protection at night. Floss on!

Leave a comment and tell us where you stand on the “flossing before or after” debate.

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