Should I Floss Before or After I Brush My Teeth?

Dentist in Calgary Serving Northwest, Downtown, and Nearby Calgary, Alberta


When to Floss Your Teeth

As strange as it may sound, it makes a difference at which point, during the course of your daily oral hygiene routine, you floss. And, while the difference is not significant, flossing your teeth before you brush is a more effective way to avoid oral health problems.

According to a study published in the Journal of Periodontology, flossing before your brush your teeth more effectively removes debris, plaque, and tartar, making it easier to clean tooth surfaces. Flossing first also allows the toothbrush to remove loosened plaque and debris more completely, helping to prevent issues like gum disease, tooth infection, and decay.

How Should I Floss?

Flossing is very simple:

  1. Wind a section of floss around your two pointer fingers
  2. Gently guide a clean section of floss to the root of the tooth, going below the gum line
  3. Gently guide the floss back up to the crown of the tooth
  4. Repeat in between each tooth

It is important to use a clean selection of floss in between each tooth. It is also important to move slowly and purposefully. Aggressive flossing may allow sections of string to cut through gum tissue and may even encourage gum recession.

Does it Really Matter?

As long as you’re flossing, does it really matter where in your oral hygiene sequence it occurs? Yes and no. While flossing before you brush is demonstrably more effective, just the act of flossing has been shown to reduce the amount of plaque in between teeth by as much as 80%, significantly reducing your risk of gum disease. This means that you floss, not when you floss is the most important thing.

People who floss at least once daily tend to have fewer oral health problems. Flossing really does matter. If you struggle with the task, we would be happy to help improve your method during your next visit. Just ask for assistance.

Contact Us Today

If it has been longer than six months since your last cleaning and examination, please call Evolution Dental at 403-208-9965 and schedule your next visit today.