flossing teeth

Here at Charleston Orthodontic Specialists, we care deeply about your overall oral health. Taking care of your teeth, whether it’s through the simple act of daily cleaning or getting orthodontic treatment, will give you more confidence while improving your health in other areas as well. Two essential ways to take care of your teeth are brushing and flossing. Many people already understand the importance of doing both each day, but you still might be wondering if you should brush first or floss first.

Should I Brush First or Floss First?

If you’re asking yourself this question, good job! People far too often neglect flossing, so if you’re finding yourself caught up on which to take care of first, then you’re likely doing better than a lot of other folks. People are usually pretty good at brushing their teeth since it takes little time and effort. Plus, there’s a bit more motivation to keep up with brushing since failing to do so leads to unsightly teeth and bad breath.

The Benefits of Flossing

The benefits of flossing aren’t quite as obvious, at least on a superficial level, but flossing can save you a lot of trouble in the future. Food that gets stuck in between your teeth will sit there until removed, and if it isn’t removed, it will cause decay and even a possible infection in your gums. Of course, this problem will only escalate if it isn’t dealt with, leading to bleeding, swelling, and the eventual receding of the gums due to gum disease. Not only does this put all of your teeth at risk, but it certainly won’t bode well for you if you value the appearance of your smile.

Flossing First

So, back to the question at hand. Should you brush first or floss first? Ideally, it’s better to floss first. One of the primary reasons for this is that taking care of it first makes it more likely that you’ll do it at all. It can be easy to finish brushing your teeth and decide you don’t have the motivation to floss that day or you don’t have time. If you always floss first, you ensure you get it done. And you aren’t about to leave the house without brushing your teeth, are you?

There is also evidence that flossing first results in a more thorough cleaning. A recent study found when participants flossed before brushing, they had significantly lower levels of plaque compared to when they had brushed before flossing. So, overall, there are plenty of reasons to floss first before you brush, but if you forget to floss first, definitely don’t skip it altogether.

Flossing with Braces

When it comes to flossing with braces, it’s even more important to keep up with it on a regular basis to keep your gums healthy. This can be a challenge since the archwire gets in the way of flossing normally, which can deter some patients from flossing while they have braces. You can floss effectively by threading the floss under the archwire so you can reach the gums. This can be tricky to do by hand, but a floss threader makes it easier to manage.

Contact Charleston Orthodontic Specialists today to learn more about life with braces and to schedule a free consultation.