Flossing and Brushing

Should I Floss Before or After Brushing?

Based on existing evidence, flossing first isn’t necessarily better for oral health than the other way around.


Still, dentists have opinions on the matter. Some recommend flossing first to get the unpleasant task out of the way to avoid the temptation to not do it. Others advise patients to brush with a fluoride toothpaste, then floss. That way your mouth will be awash with fluoride as you are maneuvering the floss.

However, it turns out flossing is not a proven way to prevent cavities, even though some dentists and hygienists suggest it is. Rather, flossing’s main benefit is stanching bloody gums and reducing the gum inflammation known as gingivitis.

Gingivitis is the first step in losing your teeth. The nice thing about catching inflammation when gums are bleeding is you can reverse it then, if that’s all that’s going on. (Teeth brushing and flossing aren’t adequate to treat more advanced inflammation.)

A 2012 review of 12 randomized controlled trials found that people who brushed and flossed regularly had less gum bleeding than the brush-only camp, though the authors cautioned the quality of the evidence was very low.

Read the full article at: The New York Times

Pennsylvania Dental Group

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Philadelphia, PA 19104


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Philadelphia, PA 19146

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