Should You Brush or Floss First? Your Dentist in Williamsville Has the Answer!
March 3, 2019
Despite what you may have seen in the news over the past few years, flossing is still very important when it comes to your oral hygiene. It is able to clean those in-between parts of your teeth that your brush simply cannot reach. While most people know that they should be brushing and flossing every night, there is still a basic question that needs to be answered: which one should come first? Is brushing first better for your oral health, or should you start by flossing? Your dentist in Williamsville answers this question today and lets you know why one way is definitely better than the other.
You Should Be Flossing First
When it is time to clean your teeth in the evening before you go to bed, the first thing you should do is grab your floss. A recent study published in The Journal of Periodontology by the American Academy of Periodontology figured this out using a randomized clinical trial. In one phase, they asked the 25 participants to brush and then floss their teeth like the majority of the population, and in the second phase, they had them floss first. They examined their mouths after each phase, and researchers found that the amount of plaque in between the teeth and the mouth overall was significantly reduced when people used the floss-brush approach.
Researchers believe this to be the case because flossing helps loosen plaque and food debris throughout the mouth, and this then allows brushing to be much more effective. Plaque left on the teeth is the primary cause of the most common dental problems, including cavities and gum disease, so figuring out a way to remove more of it without substantially changing most people’s routines is a great finding for oral health around the globe.
More Tips to Make the Most of Your Oral Hygiene
Science has proven that flossing teeth in Williamsville first is the best way to clean your smile, but are there other small changes you can make to your oral hygiene routine that will also have huge impacts? Yes there is:
- After you floss and brush, do not forget to clean your tongue as well. Just like your teeth and gums, your tongue can harbor food particles and bacteria, which can often be the source of bad breath. You can quickly clean it either with a wet toothbrush or a dedicated tongue scraper that you will be able to find at your local pharmacy.
- And, once you have cleaned your teeth, gums, and tongue, you can give your mouth a quick rinse with some water or fluoridated mouthwash to remove even more leftover plaque and bacteria. This will help wash away everything that brushing and flossing dislodged but did not completely remove.
So, the next time you go to clean your teeth, make sure to grab your floss first. This approach is not only supported by science, but it literally will take your oral hygiene routine to the next level without adding any time to it. You can be sure that your dentist will notice a difference at your next visit!
About the Author
Dr. Barry Winnick is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry and has been proudly serving local families in Williamsville for decades. His specialties include children’s dentistry and orthodontics, and he is always happy to give his patients tips on how to keep their teeth looking and feeling great between appointments. To learn more about the best ways to take care of your teeth every day, he can be contacted through his website.
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