Skip to Main Content

Brushing vs Flossing: Which Comes First

Many people know on a very basic level that brushing and flossing are recommended by dentists as part of a good oral hygiene routine. Some patients may be unclear, however, on the finer details such as what order they should be done with or if one method of cleaning is more important than the other. Here, our Toronto dentists talk about brushing and flossing in detail.

A question you may have had before beginning your oral health care routine in earnest is "should I be brushing my teeth first, or should I floss first?" Here, our Toronto dentists aim to solve this very quandary. The first thing we need to do then is talk about the importance of brushing and flossing and what each practice does for us.

Reasons to Brush

You are likely familiar with the importance of brushing your teeth. It's often one of the first lessons in cleanliness that many children learn.

We recommend that our patients brush their teeth at least twice each day. Brushing cleans our teeth and clears away plaque and bacteria that may have a negative effect on our oral health. When conducted properly, brushing is excellent at cleaning the surfaces of teeth in addition to the gums. 

Brushing twice a day helps by keeping teeth and gums clean, limiting the buildup of harmful bacteria and; ideally, preventing gum disease and tooth decay. This routine complements your regular visits to the dentist for dental cleanings and exams.

Reasons to Floss

Flossing is important because it helps keep the areas of our mouth clean that brushing does not always reach. Flossing ideally keeps the spaces between our teeth, as well as just below the gum line, free of unwanted bacteria and buildup. In turn, flossing's aid in keeping our mouths clean can lead to fewer health complications and an overall better experience when it comes to the maintenance of good oral health.

Our dentists recommend that your floss your teeth at least once each day. Oral hygiene care is largely about habit and routine, so we also advise that you leave your dental floss somewhere clearly visible to connect the ideas of brushing your teeth and flossing in your mind and help you form a strong habit.

Should you brush or floss first?

We recommend flossing before brushing your teeth. What is most important is that you always do both in accordance with your dental care routine.

We recommend that you floss your teeth first. This is because flossing can often loosen bacteria, plaque or food debris from between your teeth, setting your brushing to more thoroughly clean your smile. 

Another benefit applies if you use toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride is a compound of fluorine with another element or group, and it helps keep teeth clean. If you floss after brushing, it is more likely to remove the fluoride in your toothpaste, which might make it less effective.

We should always try to do the best that we can when it comes to keeping up our oral health care. Sometimes, small changes may have an outsized impact on your dental care routine. Choosing to brush after your floss may be one of these small changes. 

If you have to this point flossed after brushing, we suggest trying the inverse, and flossing before brushing.

For more advice on your daily oral hygiene routine, contact our Toronto dentists for a consultation. 

New Patients Always Welcome

Looking for a dentist? We're happily accepting new patients! Contact us to get started today.

Learn More

(416) 537-5389 Contact