Should You Brush Or Floss First?

Should You Brush Or Floss First?

Published 29/09/2021

Last Reviewed 20/05/2024

The age-old question: should you brush your teeth first or should you floss your teeth first? PerioSciences has the answer for you! For many people, they might not even bother thinking about the order, but it may actually make a difference in this case. Most dentists recommend brushing and flossing every day to make sure you have a healthy and happy smile for years to come. But have you ever considered that dentists rarely specify which should be done first? The team at PerioSciences has pondered this conundrum for quite some time now and here is our best answer as to whether or not we should brush or floss first.

But before that, it is crucial to understand why these hygiene tasks and their order is important.

Brushing Your Teeth

When you brush your teeth using a fluoride toothpaste, you are actively getting rid of food particles and dental plaque (sticky yellowish-white film that forms on your teeth after eating a meal). The bacteria in dental plaque wage war against your tooth enamel by releasing acids which corrode your teeth and cause gum disease, periodontal disease, and tooth decay. Brushing your teeth regularly using an appropriate toothpaste and the correct technique can help avoid such dental complexities. It also prevents you from developing bad breath, which can discourage friends and family members from finding your company to be pleasant. Almost everyone knows it is crucial that you brush your teeth twice a day for a few minutes, typically when you wake and before you get to sleep.

Don’t forget to use a fluoride and hydroxyapatite toothpaste!

Why Brushing Isn't Enough

However, brushing only does so much as there are crevices and narrow areas in your mouth where your toothbrush’s bristles cannot reach. Another concern is how brushing typically covers only a third of the surface area of your mouth, which leaves a lot of room left in your oral cavity to attract tooth decay and periodontal disease caused by harmful bacteria and the buildup of dental plague on your tooth enamel. For this reason, it is required that you floss teeth to get rid of debris without damaging your gum line as you do not have to aggressively rub against it. If you brush first and floss later, it is possible for you to extract food particles from hard-to-reach places and deposit them elsewhere in your mouth. That does not help!

Think of brushing as a more general but staple method of maintaining your teeth & gums in top condition and flossing as a deep-cleaning procedure. To maintain proper oral hygiene, you need to use both methods in the correct order. While flossing afterward does not damage your teeth in the same way that not flossing at all does, it still does not realize the true maximum benefits of both flossing and brushing your teeth in the correct order. This advice might come as a surprise, but consider not rinsing your mouth once you are done brushing your teeth. When you do not rise your mouth, it lets the toothpaste and mouthwash to continue performing damage control and fighting against bacteria.

Hydroxyapatite – All you need to know

You may have heard about Hydroxyapatite recently and wondered, “what all the hype is about?” Hydroxyapatite is a naturally occurring mineral compound made up of calcium, phosphorus, and oxygen. It makes up the bone structure of the human body including the enamel of our teeth. Recent scientific breakthroughs have allowed this mineral to be created in lab settings so that it can be used in the dental landscape to stimulate bone growth and encourage teeth to become stronger and more resistant to wear and tear. Plus, it can help teeth remain healthy by preventing their demineralization and discourage them from falling prey to bacterial attacks. When combined with fluoride, Hydroxyapatite can have game-changing and expedited improvements for your dental hygiene. It is a bit soon to claim that the future of dentistry lies with Hydroxyapatite, but the results so far are exceptionally promising!

For this reason, PerioSciences includes Hydroxyapatite in all of its toothpastes!

PerioSciences Natural Hydroxyapatite and Fluoride Toothpaste


A little bit of candy stuck in your teeth for more than two days can provide enough sugar content to fuel bacteria such that they cause serious cavities. Imagine dealing with the dentist drilling and poking your teeth at your next appointment. Scary! That’s why flossing is incredibly important! According to the American Academic of Periodontology, flossing helps get rid of dental plaque. This can lead to gum disease, periodontal disease, and tooth decay if it is left unattended. Together with brushing your teeth, flossing can help you maintain your oral hygiene, protect tooth enamel, and avoid bad breath!

Flossing requires proper technique!

When you floss first and brush your teeth second, the thread pulls away food debris and bacteria lurking between your teeth. Also near your gum line in your mouth such that they can be brushed away using a toothbrush. If you floss afterward, extracted particles will still remain in your mouth until you brush next. Plus, the fluoride and hydroxyapatite in toothpaste works best once plague has been extracted. It strengthens the enamel and prepares it for other oral activities such as biting, tearing, chewing, munching and crunching. While there is no debate in dentistry about whether these two actions should be performed, the question is about the order in which they need to take place.

Simply put, the perfect order is:

Oral Hygiene Order: Floss -> Brush -> Mouthwash

Floss Before Your Brush Conclusion

The purpose of flossing is to get into those hard to reach places where bacteria and plaque love to hide. If you floss first, you can get into these areas and break up any bacteria and plaque that are present. Then, when you follow with brushing, your toothbrush should get the rest of the bacteria. Also it will remove plaque left on the surfaces of your teeth reducing cavity causing bacteria significantly!

The problem with brushing and then flossing is you typically leave bacteria in your mouth. In this order, you first brush the surfaces of your teeth. Then you floss to break up the plaque and bacteria between your teeth. But this plaque and bacteria are never brushed away. So you are left with it in your mouth until the next time you brush. Yuck! Try our floss and brush trick. Maybe the next time you’re in the office at the dentist’s they’ll make note of your improved dental hygiene.

The Coup de Grâce on Bacteria

Lastly, if you’re really looking to leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean; add not only flossing and brushing to your oral care regime, but a quality mouthwash and dental gel as well. Doing so will give your mouth everything it deserves and could possibly need to help you feel great but also be as healthy as can be!