All of us know that flossing has benefits for the health of our gums and teeth. When you floss regularly, you are cleaning out food and bacteria from those hidden pockets under your gums that are tucked around your teeth. Another benefit is that you get rid of potential irritants that could lead to bleeding gums or other issues.
If you are a regular flosser, you already understand all the benefits, but you might be wondering when is the best time to floss? Below is an understanding of what flossing does and why it might be better to do before you brush.
Which Comes First, Brushing or Flossing?
While the American Dental Association (ADA) does not have a definite stance regarding the order of flossing and brushing, they do continue to stress the importance of regular flossing as part of your daily oral habits. Part of the reason they stress flossing is because it is a tool that can help to reduce your chances of gingivitis and reduce bleeding gums.
A recent study published in the Journal of Periodontology in 2018 found that flossing first and then brushing reduced plaque more than doing it the other way around. The floss removed food from between your teeth and loosens plaque, paving the way to get more out of your daily brushing. However, other studies throughout the years have shown different data. Still, cleaning between your teeth on a daily basis is part of your oral health routine is key.
Plaque and Bacteria Released
Flossing releases food, bacteria, and plaque into your mouth. When you floss after brushing, anything you release by flossing will remain in your mouth and on your teeth until the next time that you brush. By flossing first, you remove anything released by flossing and lower your risk of developing gum disease. The fluoride in your toothpaste and mouthwash will also be able to do it job better because all the particles will have been removed by your oral care routine.
Creating a Daily Oral Care Routine
That being said, the reality is that the order of flossing and brushing is not as important as doing both on a daily basis. Preventing gum disease often starts by ignoring flossing and brushing on a daily basis. Bacteria and plaque are then able to grow and start breaking down your teeth and gums. Poor dental hygiene, including skipping regular dental cleanings, often leads to the breakdown of your teeth and gums. Periodontal disease is a mouth infection, known as gum disease, which destroys the soft tissue and bone that are critical supports of your teeth.
To recap, as long as you floss every day, then you will enjoy the oral health benefits that come from flossing and brushing. However, flossing first allows your brushing to clean out the food, bacteria, and plaque that was released by the floss. If you are doing both but looking to add regular dental cleanings, our professional and experienced staff can help! Contact us today to schedule your next dental cleaning to remove hard and soft mineral deposits.