HomeDental CareShould you Floss or Brush First? Why it is important?

Should you Floss or Brush First? Why it is important?

Maintaining good oral hygiene is the first step toward preventing dental problems. It can be practiced through brushing and flossing teeth, tongue cleaning, etc. However, a common question arises in every patient or any person: what should be done first? Should you Brush or Floss First? Does it make any difference? Let’s see what research studies show about Brushing and Flossing.

Importance of Brushing and Flossing Teeth

Brushing teeth twice a day and Floss properly with Dental floss once a day is crucial to maintain good oral hygiene. It helps to prevent plaque build-up on the teeth surfaces and keep your teeth caries-free.

Brushing and Flossing Teeth

You can use Floss or an Interdental brush to keep clean areas between teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach easily. It is a crucial step towards Oral hygiene as it prevents plaque build-up on tiny areas between teeth. You should floss your teeth at least once a day.

Brushing only cleans around 70% of the surface area of teeth, leaving the cracks and spaces between teeth uncleaned. Flossing helps to clean the remaining areas, and gets teeth 100% clean!

Not just Brushing and Flossing but tongue cleaning is also important to remove tongue coating, as it causes bad breath because of bacterial growth.

Should you Floss or Brush First?

Studies show Flossing Teeth first followed by Brushing helps to reduce more plaque than Brushing first. It is advised to floss your teeth first followed by Brushing, so all the plaque and food debris can flush out from the interdental areas. Then, moving forward with Brushing helps to clean all the teeth.

This sequence is effective in cleaning more plaque, specifically interdental plaque. Plaque is the main factor in the development of dental caries and periodontal diseases. So, Flossing is the first thing followed by Brushing.

Apart from this, the sequence of flossing first and then brushing also helps in fluoride retention on teeth if you’re using fluoride toothpaste, which ultimately helps to prevent tooth decay or dental caries.


Finally, based on research studies we can conclude that you should first start with flossing and then brushing your teeth as it reduces more plaque and helps in fluoride retention which prevents tooth decay.

  1. American Academy of Periodontology : New Study Suggests the Ideal Sequence for Removing Plaque : https://www.perio.org/press-release/new-study-suggests-the-ideal-sequence-for-removing-plaque/
  2. The effect of toothbrushing and flossing sequence on interdental plaque reduction and fluoride retention : https://doi.org/10.1002/JPER.17-0149
Dr. Shubham G. Devaiya, BDS
Dr. Shubham G. Devaiya, BDS
Dr. Shubham G. Devaiya is a registered Dentist and Medical content writer. He owns DentalFord and publishes content related to Oral Health for Oral Health Awareness.



Disclaimer : All the information on the page is for educational purposes only to make you aware, you can’t take it as a substitute for medical advice. If you are facing any health issues it is advised to take direct Medical help from medical professionals immediately.