Is It Better To Brush Or Floss First?

Posted on 04/02/2019

For those who take their oral hygiene seriously, you may have asked yourself, which should come first ― brushing or flossing? Those in favor of brushing first believe that this removes a majority of plaque and food particles, allowing the floss to finish up with the detail work, as well as forcing any remaining fluoride from the toothpaste between the teeth. However, those that argue flossing should come first believe this better loosens plaque and food particles, allowing them to be brushed away easier and letting the toothpaste reach the spaces in between. But what is the true order in which these crucial oral hygiene practices should be completed in order to receive maximum benefit? First, let’s make sure we understand good brushing and flossing practices!

Good Brushing Advice from Your Sudbury Orthodontist

To properly brush your teeth, you should begin with a soft bristle toothbrush that is the ideal size for your mouth. It should be small enough to comfortably fit in your mouth and reach each tooth. Using a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, gently brush your teeth, holding the toothbrush at about a 45 degree angle. Make sure you reach all tooth surfaces — front and back, as well as the sides — and don’t forget your gums! Gently brushing along the gum line will help reduce your chances of gum disease. Once you’ve finished brushing, rinse your mouth and enjoy your squeaky clean smile!

Good Flossing Technique

When flossing, you should begin with a piece of floss roughly 18” in length. Wrap the ends around your index fingers and pull the floss taught, leaving a few inches of floss to work with. Gently slide the floss back-and-forth between two teeth and work your way down around the gum line, then scrape up and down the sides of each tooth. Use the same motion to remove the floss as you did to slide it in, then, using a clean section of your floss, continue between the next two teeth. Do this until you’ve cleaned between every tooth — just remember to be gentle! Using too much force or trying to move too quickly can injure your gums, leaving them inflamed and tender. If you have braces, a floss threader is a great way to make this process a little easier.

Which Should Come First?

Now that you’ve brushed up on the ideal methods of brushing and flossing, which oral hygiene practice needs to come first? Well, according to a new study, some researchers have found that flossing before brushing may result in a higher reduction in plaque build up around the teeth and gums. This is believed to be because flossing better loosens food particles and bacteria that can then be more easily brushed and rinsed away.

While this study shows that flossing followed by brushing may have optimal results, the most important factor to remember is simply performing both of these activities daily will greatly reduce your chance of tooth decay and gum disease, leading to a lifetime of great oral health. The American Dental Association recommends brushing at least twice daily (a good rule is once in the morning and once again before bed) and flossing at least once daily (before bed is a great time to do this). If you’d like more tips on how you can improve your oral hygiene routine, speak to your Sudbury, Parry Sound, or Espanola dentist or orthodontist.

See Your Sudbury, Espanola, and Parry Sound, ON Braces and Invisalign Provider

If you want to achieve a healthier, better-looking smile, braces or Invisalign treatment may be a great next step for you! Dr. David D’Aloisio and the staff at Sudbury Orthodontics are the braces and Invisalign experts you can trust. With three convenient locations in Sudbury, Parry Sound, and Espanola, ON, you can be sure to find an orthodontist you can trust nearby. To learn more about braces, Invisalign, or any of our other orthodontic treatments, contact us today! To request an appointment, simply use our convenient online form, or you can call your nearest Sudbury Orthodontics location. We hope to see you soon!

Sudbury Location

250 Notre Dame Avenure


ON P3C 5K5

Phone: 705-671-6261

Parry Sound Location

5 Bowes St.

Parry Sound,

ON P2A 2K7

Phone: 705-746-9311

Espanola Location

91 Tudhope Street


ON P5E 1S6

Phone: 705-869-0880