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The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends flossing – this isn’t news, every one of us is told from early childhood that flossing is important no matter the order. But we recommend that you floss before brushing your teeth in the morning and at night.
The reasons for this are quite simple. First, flossing before you brush means you are more likely to actually do it, because it’s pretty easy to decide NOT to floss while you’re brushing. The second reason is that flossing after you brush isn’t quite as effective for preventing plaque buildup between your teeth.
One thing flossing does is release bacteria that hides between your teeth. When you floss first, you release that bacteria and then follow up by brushing it all away. But if you brush your teeth first and then release all of that bacteria in to your mouth by flossing, you are just creating a petri dish of bacteria growth that will be harder for your toothbrush to keep up with later on down the road.
Studio City Dental Center urges our patients and community to heed this advice. Studies have found that only 15 percent of people who brush their teeth daily actually take the time to floss. This is something we have been taught by our dentists since we were young, but most people don’t think about all of the bacteria that ends up between our teeth because we can’t see it. What we can see, though, is gingivitis and more than likely cavities, which is what happens when you don’t floss first and brush properly afterwards!
The ADA did a survey to get an idea of the number of people that brush their teeth before flossing, and the numbers are in. Fifty-three percent of Americans brush their teeth first which leaves 47 percent of the flossing population giving themselves that extra boost of oral hygiene. There are some arguments that say either way is alright as long as you are thorough, but don’t you want to get the best out of the time you are already spending on it every day? All you would have to do is switch up your routine a little and you will spend less time and money in the future on your pearly whites.
So, floss or brush first? The answer is up to you. The most important piece of information we can give you is to floss no matter what. There are numerous advantages to flossing, regardless of the order in which you do it. But to optimize your oral health, we say floss first!