Should You Floss Before or After Brushing Teeth?

Should You Floss Before or After Brushing Teeth

Flossing is an important hygiene habit to clear the teeth to remove plaque and unwanted bacteria. If you brush your teeth regularly still you are in a need of flossing the teeth. A toothbrush does not go deep enough into the teeth to remove food debris that is stuck in there, so the food particles remain and cause plaque.

In this case, flossing is important that goes deep in one`s teeth and remove all the food debris and make the teeth crystal clear. You don’t need to visit your doctor on a regular basis if you take care of your teeth properly. Flossing is one of the ways to determine your teeth’ health.

Flossing can be done with dental floss and other tools like water flosser or disposable floss picks. Flossing is good for your teeth and helps in lessens the production of plaque.

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Benefits of Flossing

Benefits Of Flossing Your Teeth

Flossing is of great impact. It can help you maintain your dental health. Here we discuss some of the major benefits:

Removes Plaque

Removes Plaque

Flossing removes the plaque that is stuck between the teeth so deeply that the bristles of the toothbrush are unable to reach that place. Moreover, plaque can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay. It is a thick, sticky film. Hence, flossing reduces these dangers by thoroughly cleaning teeth.

Bad Breath

Bad Breath

Many people complain of bad breath even when they brush properly. It is because the bacteria have stuck between the spaces. Many people have found flossing useful in fighting bad breath. Flossing reduces the bad breaths and with it a large number of other dental diseases like loosening teeth and bleeding from gum.

Increases Fluoride Consumption

Increases Fluoride Consumption

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps in decreasing tooth decay and that is the reason for its usage in toothpaste. If your toothpaste contains fluoride, then the fluoride must be reached at every corner of your teeth. The presence of plaque blocks the path of fluoride and does not let it reach the inner parts of the teeth. As flossing removes the plaque even from the deep parts of the teeth, it increases the consumption of fluoride.

But the main question that arises is When Should You Floss? Whether to floss before or after brushing?


Flossing After Brushing (Brush-Floss)

Flossing After Brushing


If you first brush and then floss your teeth, then it will be easier to pick the food debris out. Brushing alone does not remove the plaque that is stuck deep in the teeth but it is also true that brushing removes the plaque. Research shows that the mean plaque removal by the normal non-electric brush is 0.97+/-0.45 and the mean plaque removal by electric brush is 1.23+/-0.65.

As the brushing (first) removes an amount of plaque so while flossing when you move the dental floss from teeth to teeth there will be less plaque to remove so one has to exert less. This is how Brush-Floss helps a person to remove plaque.


Flossing after brushing is though useful but it also has some disadvantages. Flossing after brushing can decrease the fluoride consumption in the teeth.

Here is WHY?

If you brush first, obviously there will be a plaque in the teeth that blocks the passage of fluoride (a naturally occurring mineral that prevents tooth decay) and does not let it go to the gums.

So, the fluoride instead of reaching the gums will stick in the plaque (Plaque is a sticky film) and will unable to prevent tooth decay as it has not reached its correct destination. The worst is that when you floss after brushing the invisible fluoride will also be removed with the plaque. This is how Brush-Floss causes damage to a person.

Flossing Before Brushing(Floss-Brush)

Flossing Before and After Brushing


Now let`s move to the point that flossing first can be beneficial also. Flossing picks out the food debris, plaque, and whatever is stick deep inside your teeth but the fact is that it removes these particles from your teeth, not from your mouth.

Some particles remain in one`s mouth and they need to be extracted from the mouth also. Brushing subsequently including brushing the teeth removes these particles from the mouth. It can be of great help to remove bad breath since this occurs by food particles sticking to the teeth and mouth.

Further, the flossing removes the plaque in the teeth and brushing subsequently aids the fluoride in toothpaste to reach the gums and then help the teeth not to decay. Flossing removes a large amount of plaque. Research shows that using a manual string floss can remove 58 percent plaque and the use of water floss removes 74 percent plaque.


Flossing first can though reduce more plaque but it is somehow dangerous if you do not use it correctly. If you are flossing and are not careful to turn the string floss in a U-shape when it reaches the gums, then it may cause a wound in your gums that can be followed by gum bleeding and ache.

If you brush later the bristles may make the wound severe. Even if you had not felt it while flossing it will be prominent while brushing and will bleed and pain more. However, this depends on how careful are you while flossing?

What Is Better?

Brushing After Flossing

It is true and is accepted that Everything has its own advantages and disadvantages. So is the case of brushing and flossing. So, before talking about what is better and what should one adapt let`s talk about an experiment.

“An experiment conducted by the researchers took two groups of 25 people. One group was asked to floss after brushing (Brush-Floss) and the second group was asked to brush after flossing(Floss-Brush). After a month the results were compared and it was revealed that the second group of persons (Floss-Brush) is having less amount of plaque.”

Comparing the traits of both it has been concluded that flossing before brushing is more useful. This is highly recommended. The reason is summarized as follow:

  • Removes more plaque
  • Increases Fluoride consumption
  • Removes particles from the mouth by brushing afterward.


Author Since:  September 18, 2018


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