When it comes to your oral health routine, you likely already know that brushing and flossing are essential daily habits. As any dentist will tell you, brushing your teeth twice each day and flossing at least once will help keep your teeth healthy, clean and cavity-free.
But what does this daily routine actually look like? Should you floss before or after brushing? Are there advantages to mixing up your dental hygiene routine? We’re here to help, with some straightforward answers to all your questions!
The Ideal Sequence for Oral Hygiene
Believe it or not, there is an ideal flow of events to achieve optimum oral hygiene. According to research published in the American Academy of Periodontology’s Journal of Periodontology, flossing before brushing is the best way to ensure you’re getting rid of pesky dental plaque.
The study found that participants who flossed before brushing had a significantly lower amount of plaque on their teeth and in their mouth after completing their oral hygiene routine, compared to the brush-then-floss group.
If you’ve been a brush-then-flosser all these years, don’t be dismayed. Combining flossing and brushing on a daily basis is still an effective way to keep your mouth clean and healthy. If you’re looking for ways to improve your oral hygiene and help keep cavities at bay, a simple restructure of your daily sequence can have some powerful health benefits including reducing gum disease, tooth decay, plague risk, and tooth pain. We’ll dive deeper into why this is the case below.
4 Benefits of Flossing Before Brushing
As research has discovered, flossing before brushing has some lasting health benefits. Simply flipping the order in which you brush your teeth can impact your oral health in a number of ways:
- Clean deeply: Flossing is an effective way to loosen bacteria, food debris, and particles that are stuck between your teeth. If left to harden over just a 24- or 36-hour period, this plaque bacteria can quickly start to damage or decay your teeth and turn into a health risk. Flossing rids all the tight spaces in your mouth of this plaque. Brushing and rinsing can further clear particles out.
- Enhance fluoride impact: Fluoride is a mineral found in many dental products, including most adult toothpaste. In order to reap the rewards of fluoride, you want it to stay in your mouth as long as possible. With plaque and bacteria already partially removed through flossing, your teeth are more ready to absorb the fluoride. As a bonus tip: avoid rinsing or using mouth wash immediately after brushing — let the toothpaste residue sit for a little while first.
- Prevent gum disease: Gum disease can start to occur when there’s an overload of bacteria on the surface of your teeth. This is often a result of skipping dental cleaning and having poor daily dental hygiene — for example, not brushing or flossing regularly. Gum disease can include symptoms like bleeding gums, loose teeth, tender gums, or bad breath. Flossing before brushing helps to get rid of more bacteria and reduces your risk of gum disease in the long run.
- Reveal areas that need attention: Break out the floss before loading up your toothbrush, and you might notice a few extra details about your teeth. For example, flossing can sometimes help you spot some heavier particle debris or an area that’s particularly sensitive, such as your wisdom teeth. You might even notice some blood on your floss – a result of tender gums according to the American Dental Association. These signs can guide you toward areas that need some extra attention while you brush.
Take Care of Your Teeth at Hamilton Healthcare
Whether you floss or brush first, a healthy daily routine should be supplemented by regular dental cleanings and check-ups. When you’re in need of access to affordable family dental care services, Hamilton Healthcare Center is here to help. We’re committed to helping everyone in our community stay strong and healthy through our multilingual and multicultural services.
Give us a call or contact us online today to set up your next appointment.
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