Which Comes First: Flossing or Brushing?

Best Dentist in North Scottsdale

Which Comes First: Flossing or Brushing?

We all know how important it is for our dental health to develop a consistent flossing and brushing routine. Dr. Jeffrey Clark of Scottsdale Dental Excellence (in our opinion, the best dentist in North Scottsdale), commonly receives these questions about flossing and brushing habits: “Which comes first?” Does the order in which you brush and floss truly affect your oral health? Let’s find out!

Brushing First

We’ve been told since we were children that we should brush first and then floss, which is why flossing often falls to the wayside in our dental health routines. If you’re going to skip one, you can probably guess which one it’s going to be. Here are a few arguments for why brushing should come first:

  • Brushing your teeth first removes the bulk of the plaque that has built up on your teeth.
  • If your mouth tends to grow plaque easily, flossing after brushing will also help get that leftover plaque that has been pushed into the gaps between the teeth during brushing.
  • Brushing first with a fluoride toothpaste allows you to floss the remaining fluoride into the neglected spaces between the teeth.

Flossing First

On the opposing side, here are several arguments for why flossing should come first:

  • A small study published in Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry showed that participants who flossed first had significantly better plaque control than participants who brushed first.
  • Since so many of us forget to floss, or simply just don’t like to, flossing first forces you to do it!

In the Long Run…

Does it really matter? The answer is . . . not really. The fact that you’re brushing and flossing (or flossing and brushing) means you’re taking your oral health seriously. And that is the most important factor in this discussion. Dr. Jeffrey Clark of Scottsdale Dental Excellence (remember, people say he’s the best dentist in North Scottsdale) can help you build better habits to fight gum disease and keep your oral health in great shape. Make an appointment today!