Should I floss or brush first?
When it comes to your oral hygiene routine, have you ever wondered what you should do first? According to recent studies, there is an ideal sequence to your routine. What researchers have found is that flossing your teeth before brushing them may be the most effective and efficient way to remove plaque from your teeth. They have also found that this two-step process (floss then brush) was found to increase fluoride concentration that is delivered to the teeth from toothpaste. This is important because the fluoride concentration in toothpaste makes your tooth enamel stronger against decay. Additionally, when you floss first, you pull food debris, saliva, and bacteria from the gum line and from in between your teeth, where you can easily brush it away with a toothbrush. Flossing second allows the particles to remain on your teeth and gums until the next time you brush—giving plaque enough time to turn into stubborn and harmful tartar.
- Brush your teeth after every meal and snack. Brushing not available? No worries, make sure to rinse your mouth with water.
- Floss at least once a day, ideally right before brushing your teeth.
- Make sure your teeth are thoroughly cleaned before sleep.
- Have regular check-ups with your general dentist. On average, you should be seeing them every 4-6 months.
- Try to avoid sugary foods and drinks as much as possible—these can directly lead to tooth decay and decalcification.
Why is oral hygiene necessary?
Without maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine, you put yourself at risk of poor oral health. Your clear aligners do not cause oral health issues, but they may create areas for potential decay when you do not brush your teeth or rinse your mouth after meals and before putting them back on. Plaque and food accumulation between your teeth and aligners can lead to cavities, swollen gums, bad breath, and periodontal disease.
To avoid poor oral health, proper oral care is essential. Next time you’re starting your routine, consider starting with flossing before you brush to help protect your teeth and overall oral health.