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Brushing vs Flossing: Which Comes First

Many people know on a basic level that brushing and flossing are recommended by dentists as part of a good oral hygiene routine. Some patients however are unclear on the finer details, like what order they should be done in or if one is more important than the other. Today, our Ottawa dentists talk about brushing and flossing in detail.

Before beginning your daily oral health care routine, you may have wondered, "Should I brush my teeth first, or should I floss first?" Our Ottawa dentists hope to solve this conundrum in this post. The first step is to discuss the significance of brushing and flossing and what each practice does for us.

Reasons to Brush

The benefits of brushing one's teeth are self-evident; it is one of the first lessons in cleanliness that many children learn. We advise our patients to brush their teeth at least twice per day. Brushing our teeth cleans them and removes plaque and bacteria that can harm our oral health. Brushing, when done correctly, excels at cleaning the surfaces of our teeth as well as our gums.

Brushing twice a day helps by keeping teeth and gums clean, limiting the buildup of harmful bacteria and; ideally, preventing gum disease and tooth decay. This routine complements your regular visits to the dentist for dental cleanings and exams.

Reasons to Floss

Flossing is necessary because it cleans areas of our mouth that brushing does not always reach. Ideally, flossing keeps the spaces between our teeth and just below the gum line free of unwanted bacteria and buildup. As a result, flossing helps to keep our mouths clean, which leads to fewer health complications and a better overall experience when it comes to maintaining good oral health.

We recommend flossing at least once a day. Oral hygiene care is largely about routine and habit, so we also recommend leaving your floss somewhere clearly visible, forming an imperishable bond in your mind between the act of brushing and the act of flossing. Where one comes to mind, so should the other, to ensure the entirety of your teeth receive the care they require.

Should you brush or floss first?

We recommend flossing before brushing your teeth. What is most important is that you always do both in accordance with your dental care routine.

We recommend flossing first due in large part to the possibility of flossing loosens bacteria and food debris both on and between our teeth. This can make brushing more successful at removing food particles. 

Another benefit applies if you use toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride is a compound of fluorine with another element or group, and it helps keep teeth clean. If you floss after brushing, it is more likely to remove the fluoride in your toothpaste, which might make it less effective.

When it comes to maintaining an excellent standard of oral health care, we should always strive to do our best, and sometimes small changes can have a large impact on our dental care routines. One of those small changes could be brushing after flossing. If you've been flossing after brushing, we recommend doing the opposite and flossing before brushing.

For more advice on your daily oral hygiene routine, contact our Ottawa dentists for a consultation. 

New Patients Always Welcome

Looking for a dentist in Ottawa? We're happily accepting new patients at our dental clinic! Contact us to get started today. 

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