Brush, Floss, Rinse - What Should You Be Doing First?
Posted on 6/9/2017 by Michael Mettler
It is dental version of the ‘which came first the chicken or the egg’ debate. Some people believe it is best to floss, brush, then rinse with mouthwash, while others believe the proper order is brush, floss, then rinse. So, which is the right way to do it?
The Proper Sequence for Daily Oral Care:
It may come as a surprise to many, but the order in which you perform your oral healthcare routine doesn’t really matter. Almost all experts in the dental industry agree it isn’t what order you do things in; it is how well you do it.
This means you can brush, floss, and rinse in whatever order feel comfortable doing it in. The only way it will impact your oral health is if you are not brushing or flossing properly (or not flossing at all - SCARY!).
Tips to Help You Properly Brush Your Teeth:
Proper brushing starts first with selecting the right toothbrush. Take the following things into consideration when choosing a toothbrush:
1. Make sure you are buying a soft bristled toothbrush; medium and hard bristles may damage your teeth and gums if you aren't careful.
2. Comfort level – find a brush that feels comfortable not only in your mouth, but while you are holding it in your hand. For some people with small mouths, a child's toothbrush may be the best option for you.
3. Type of head on the toothbrush; some toothbrushes come with a flexible or extended toothbrush head. Choose one of these if you find you are having difficulty reaching the teeth in the back of your mouth.
Other things to consider when brushing your teeth include:
1. Don't brush your teeth too hard or too rough, because this may cause you to tear or damage your gums.
2. Clean your teeth the proper length of time. We always suggest that you should be brushing your teeth for two minutes. Set a timer if needed.
3. Make sure to clean not only the surfaces of your teeth, but the sides and backs of the teeth too.
4. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride as this will help fight cavities and plaque buildup.
Tips for Proper Flossing Technique:
1. Use enough dental floss Dr. Martin recommends about 18 inches of dental floss every time you floss. Use clean dental floss for every section you floss in your mouth.
2. Guide the dental floss around the curves of your teeth to make sure it gets all plaque and food particles that may be trapped.
3. Don’t snap or tear at your gums.
4. Hold the dental floss taunt but not too taunt that you damage your teeth.
If you are worried you aren’t properly cleaning your teeth or wish to learn proper brushing or flossing techniques, Stone Creek Dental Care in Walla Walla can help. Call us today at 509-525-5902 to schedule an appointment and our hygiene team would be happy to give you some in-person tips.