This is an age-old question. Should you floss before you brush or after? If you asked any one of our team members, you just might get a different answer on this one!
Before you report them for not knowing their stuff, each response can be right! As long as you’re doing a thorough job when you floss! Let me explain.
The Case for Flossing Before Brushing
Theoretically, flossing first dislodges the gunk between your teeth, letting the fluoride in your toothpaste reach those crevices better.
Also, behavioral scientists say since most people don’t like to floss, it’s better to get the least-pleasant half of your dental routine out of the way first – you’ll be less likely to skip it.
Once you have a minty, fresh mouth from brushing, you might be less inclined to feel the need to floss afterward.
The Case for Flossing After Brushing
Some say flossing last is better because it clears your mouth from extra food and debris that could otherwise be carried by the floss into the very spaces you’re trying to clean out.
Plus, it might be more pleasant to put those flossing hands into a clean mouth versus an unbrushed one.
Floss when it works for you. But make it a habit! Choose the same time every day, floss once a day, and floss thoroughly.
And don’t forget to use the right flossing method: for each new set of teeth, use a new section of floss, and hug each side of the tooth by dragging the floss upward in the shape of a “C.” Need a refresher? Check out our flossing illustration to help you keep those pearly white teeth clean.
Want us to show you how? Just ask!
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry also has a handy infographic to maintaining healthy teeth for your children.
Just remember, if you want your children to have healthy oral habits, such as flossing, you will have to start doing it yourself. Daily. Research has shown that children mirror their parents. Why not get them to start a habit that will be beneficial and one that they can use to save their teeth for the rest of their life!
All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
At All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we incorporate proven techniques to share with you and your child at each dental checkup visit. Dr. Allen Job and his team are committed to providing the latest in oral health care prevention. For more information about brushing and flossing check out our preventive care page. Still want more information? Check out our blog posts on prevention! Our practice is centrally located in San Diego, CA.
Get acquainted with us by watching our practice video and find out what we do.
Scheduling an appointment for your child is easy! Start here to schedule an appointment. All of our forms are online. Fill them out securely from your smartphone or tablet and hit send. On appointment day, your child will be seen at their scheduled time. For example, if you have a 9:00 AM appointment, your child will be seen at 9:00 AM.
Dr. Allen Job, DDS, MS, MPH, MS is a board certified pediatric dentist who practices in San Diego, California, where he specializes in prevention. He is also an assistant professor at Loma Linda University Department of Pediatric Dentistry.