Aug 27, 2019

Dogs or cats? Coffee or tea? Movies or TV shows? These are some age-old questions that have no real answer. However, there is one question that has a definite answer: is it better to brush or floss first? A new study from the Oral Health Foundation has found the answer. Read on below as a dentist in Englewood talks about the study.

What are the facts?

The results of the study showed that patients who flossed before brushing had a much cleaner mouth than those who did it the other way around. The theory behind this states that flossing beforehand leaves the spaces between your teeth open to receive more fluoride from the toothpaste. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that strengthens tooth enamel to prevent and even reverse decay. Naturally, you want your teeth to be exposed to more fluoride in order for them to be as healthy as can be.

While brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste is important for optimal oral health, it’s not the only step you should take. Brushing by itself only cleans three of the five surfaces of the teeth, while flossing takes care of the other two. In order for your teeth to be as clean as possible, you’ll need to partake in both activities.

What happens if you don’t brush and floss?

Besides simply feeling gross, neglecting to brush and floss can have dire consequences on not just out oral health, but the health of our entire body. This is all because of a pesky substance called plaque, which constantly accumulates on your teeth. Regular brushing and flossing disrupt plaque and keeps it from wreaking havoc on your teeth. Not doing so, on the other hand, can cause bacteria in plaque to eat away at tooth enamel and cause cavities and gum disease. Gum disease by itself is bad enough, but it has been linked to other problems such as heart disease and diabetes.

How can you take care of your oral health?

Flossing and brushing aren’t the only ways to make sure your mouth stays in good shape. Follow these steps to keep your teeth and gums nice and healthy:

  • Quit smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Consume sugary foods and drinks in moderation
  • Don’t use your teeth to hold things or open packaging
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for a checkup to make sure everything is okay

Brushing and floss are massively important to your oral health. Be sure they are part of your daily hygiene routine.

About the author

Dr. C. Romesh Weerasooriya takes a holistic approach to dentistry and believes that by treating a patient’s mouth, he can keep their whole body in excellent shape. He earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Florida College of Dentistry in 1994. To learn more about how to establish a healthy oral care routine, contact him at his website or by calling (941)-548-1351.