This is the quintessential question that has been debated for long now leading to many different theories.
One argument holds that flossing should be done before brushing since flossing loosens the plaque food particles lodged between your teeth making it easier for these to be removed when you brush.
Also, the cleaning agents in your toothpaste will make better contact with your teeth once they are rid of plaque and food particles coating them.
A contrary theory to this recommends brushing is better before flossing because brushing removes a bulk of the plaque.
Flossing afterwards causes the cleaning agents left over in your mouth after brushing make better contact with your teeth by forcing them into the spaces between your teeth. This ensures better oral hygiene
While there is no clear consensus on whether flossing before brushing is good or bad, the good news is if you’re asking yourself this question, you are doing both – flossing and brushing – which is excellent for your oral health.
However, if given an option, many people would choose to brush their teeth and not floss.
Flossing has always been considered secondary to brushing and this perhaps stems from the fact that we’re told in our childhood ‘brush first, then floss’.
It is perhaps this ingrained mindset which makes many of us think flossing isn’t as important as brushing and just brushing teeth daily will prevent dental problems.
But, both are equally important and, irrespective of the order you do it in, doing both will help improve oral hygiene and prevent tooth decay and related dental problems.
Think of your teeth as fences. Imagine you’ve stained (painted) only the front and back of teeth to prevent them from rotting due to the moisture. If you haven’t stained the insides, they will start rotting on the inside.
The same applies to your teeth, brushing only cleans the front and back of your teeth while flossing cleans the spaces in between your teeth.
If you don’t floss, you can be susceptible to teeth decay setting in in the gaps between your teeth.
Whether you brush first and floss later or vice versa, it is important you do both for healthy teeth and to prevent dental problems in the long term.
If you need flossing tips and techniques, contact your dentist in Milton Keynes for more information.