Jeffrey J Tibbs DDS PA
The Dental Practice of Dr. Jeffrey J. Tibbs

Oral Hygiene Tips: Should You Floss before or after Brushing?

January 3, 2020
Posted By: Jeffrey J. Tibbs DDS Staff

It’s an age-old question and the topic of hot debate in some circles: Should you floss your teeth before you brush, or after?

As a general dentist in Winston-Salem, NC, it’s our responsibility to ensure that you have all the facts you need to maintain a healthy smile. The team at Tibbs Dental will always share information with you that helps support your oral health goals.

Floss or Brush First? The Survey Says . . .

The answer to this burning question is that you should floss first, then brush. A recent study published by the American Academy of Periodontology assessed 25 patients in two phases.

In the first phase, they were asked to brush first, then floss. In the second, they were asked to floss first, then brush. The results showed that flossing first significantly reduces the amount of plaque between teeth and in the mouth. Since flossing removes plaque, the fluoride in your toothpaste has more contact with your teeth and can better protect them over time. 

Now that you know the facts and understand that the floss-then-brush sequence is ideal, here's the order of steps to follow:

Step 1: Flossing, Interproximal Cleaning

Interproximal refers to the spaces between teeth, which is where your oral hygiene routine starts. Oral hygiene aids like floss, interproximal brushes, Waterpiks, or water flossers all help to clean these hard-to-reach areas. The good news is that while you need to brush twice a day, you only need to floss once.

Step 2: Brushing with Fluoride Toothpaste

Ask your general dentist in Winston-Salem, NC for recommendations on which type of toothbrush you should use. Brush with a low-abrasive, fluoridated toothpaste and spit out the excess, but don’t rinse any residual coating of toothpaste off of your teeth. 

Step 3: Rinse with Fluoridated Mouthwash

Follow your flossing and brushing with a rinse of fluoridated mouthwash. Swishing it around in your mouth for 30 seconds to one minute helps carry away residual plaque and bacteria lingering in your mouth.

Call to Schedule Your Next Teeth Cleaning

General dentistry offered at our Winston-Salem dental office keeps your smile healthy and disease-free. If you have questions about which toothbrush, floss, or other oral hygiene aids to use, please call Tibbs Dental to schedule your next teeth cleaning and dental exam.

If you have difficulty using our website, please email us or call us at (336) 765-7477
View the ADA Accessibility Statement
Are you worried or have questions/concerns about your dental appointment during COVID-19?  Please see our COVID information at the bottom of this page.