A good oral hygiene routine is essential for keeping your teeth and gums healthy, which is why flossing should be a priority. Although most people know flossing is necessary, they may not know whether to floss before or after brushing their teeth. Research has finally shown that flossing first is the key to having cleaner teeth and fewer dental issues over time.

Flossing First Makes Brushing More Effective

When you floss before brushing your teeth, you remove food particles and plaque that can be removed with the toothbrush. Flossing first leaves your teeth much cleaner than flossing after brushing. You are able to more effectively clean the surfaces of your teeth and eliminate areas where plaque and food may remain, creating tooth decay and gum disease.

Before you brush your teeth, make a personal habit of flossing thoroughly in between teeth. Don’t skip the teeth in the back because they have a greater surface area capable of harboring plaque and food. Careful attention to your teeth when you brush and floss will lead to fewer dental procedures and a healthier mouth and body. Another reason flossing first is beneficial is because a fluoride mouthwash used after brushing will be able to cling to teeth and strengthen them to help prevent cavities that will require dental fillings.

You don’t need to take our word for it, either. A recent study by the National Institute of Health has shown that flossing followed by brushing is more effective than brushing first when it comes to reducing interdental plaque.

When it does come time to brush, however, remember that it’s important to adhere to the right way to brush your teeth!

How to Pick the Right Floss

Not all teeth, and mouths for that matter, are the same size. This is why you may need to experiment with floss or interdental brushes. They come in a variety of sizes to fit the space between your teeth comfortably. When flossing, make a point to gently insert the floss or brush without forcing it into the space. If you have resistance or trouble inserting the floss, then you should purchase a smaller size. You also have the option to purchase floss with, or without wax. The wax is intended to help the floss glide between the teeth easily.

The Benefits of Flossing Regularly

Dentists have promoted flossing for many years because they know it is one of the keys to keeping your teeth and mouth clean and in good condition. It’s important to know how to floss, however, just as it is important to know that brushing your teeth only cleans three out of the five surfaces of each tooth. Without regular daily flossing, the tooth’s surface will be left with plaque and food accumulation that eats away at the enamel and causes tooth decay. Over time, tooth decay and gum disease can affect the overall health of your body and cause heart disease.

Oral health is vital to keeping your teeth intact and preventing serious issues over time. If you are unsure about the proper way to floss your teeth, ask your dentist at your next checkup. They can help you learn the proper way to target those hard to reach areas and may be able to give you some extra tips for keeping your teeth free of plaque and debris.

If you want to prevent tooth decay and keep your gums healthy, you need to floss daily. It is more effective to floss before you brush your teeth because you loosen the plaque and debris and allow it to be removed when you brush. If you have children, it should be a priority to instill good oral health habits so they can have a healthy mouth throughout their lifetime. Keeping your teeth in good condition is easy when you follow a regular oral hygiene routine that includes flossing carefully.