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Flossing: Before or After Brushing?

Dental flossing is an integral part of adequate dental hygiene because it allows the person to reach in between the crevices of the teeth where bacteria and plaque reside. Many people know that they need to floss, but some wonder whether they should conduct the activity before or after they brush their teeth. Two main perspectives exist, and both of them have some valid points.

Reasons to Floss Before Brushing the Teeth

One perspective on flossing is that the person should conduct it before brushing the teeth. Flossing can loosen the plaque and release lodged food particles. The dental floss will bring such items to the surface of the teeth, and then the person can sweep them away with the toothbrush. That strategy makes perfect sense. In fact, the person can take it a step further by rinsing with water or mouthwash after flossing for a complete cleansing of the oral cavity.

Reasons to Floss After Brushing the Teeth

The other perspective on flossing is that the person should do it after he or she brushes the teeth. The logic behind that strategy is that any fluoride that remains on the teeth will sneak into the crevice and attack bacterial growth. The second strategy could be helpful for dental hygiene, as well.

The Conclusion

One could use both strategies to ensure that he or she flosses correctly, or the person can use either of the two strategies. Dental patients can floss as many times as they desire throughout the day, but they should make a rule of flossing at least twice per day. Once in the morning and once in the night is appropriate. Some people may want to floss immediately after eating foods that can lodge themselves into the teeth, as well.

The best floss to use for effectiveness is one that works its way deep into the surface of the teeth. Specialists recommend woven floss because it is thick enough to work well in between tight or spacious tooth surfaces. Waxed floss has an extra layer of protection, which makes it sturdy enough to withstand rough usage. Another floss type that is excellent for dental hygiene is mint covered floss. Mint covered floss can enhance the person’s breath by releasing mint in the deepest cracks of the teeth. Flossing can prevent some teeth diseases from developing, so every person should use it in the battle against plaque.


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The content on this page is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute professional medical advice. Patients should not use the information presented on this page for diagnosing a health-related issue or disease. Before taking any medication or supplements, patients should always consult a physician or qualified healthcare professional for medical advice or information about whether a drug is safe, appropriate or effective.