Should You Floss Before Or After Brushing Your Teeth?

I was brought up to always brush my teeth before flossing.  But I have recently learned that there is some debate as to whether you should floss before or after you brush.  Even dentists don’t agree and have different opinions on this subject.  Flossing is important to keep your teeth and gums healthy, which will reduce your risk of gum disease, cavities, and bad breath.  So is it better to floss before or after brushing?

Advantages Of Brushing Before Flossing

If you brush your teeth first there will be less plaque to remove when you floss, as some of it will have been removed by brushing.  This makes flossing less time consuming and, thus, seem like less of a chore to many people.  Some people believe that if you floss your teeth first when you brush you will push the plaque which has been removed back between your teeth.  Many dentists also recommend brushing first because it is the way most people were taught, and because they have not seen any disadvantages to this order, they see no need to change their recommendations.

Advantages Of Flossing After Brushing

Not all of the plaque you remove when flossing your teeth attaches to the floss and instead remains in your mouth.  Therefore, if you brush after flossing this plaque also gets removed.  Another advantage of flossing before brushing is that the fluoride in toothpaste can penetrate between your teeth better once as the plaque has already been removed.

Does It Matter If You Floss Before Or After Brushing?

There is no hard evidence as to whether it’s better to floss before or after you brush, therefore it doesn’t really matter.  Many people have done it in either order and the results have been the same.  If you have been flossing your teeth before brushing for the last ten years and your teeth are in good health, there is no need to change your ways now.  The important thing is that you floss your teeth every day in whatever order you prefer and always rinse your mouth with water afterward.