It’s a little bit like the chicken-or-egg question: which should you do first, brush your teeth, or floss them? At Chesterfield Smile Design, serving the greater St. Louis area, we know that both are essential to good dental health.
The answer depends on who you ask. Some dentists will tell you it’s better to floss first. That way, you loosen plaque, or food debris from between your teeth, and brush it away. Also, you won’t be tempted to skip flossing after you’ve brushed.
On the other hand, some dentists say it’s better to brush first. Then when you floss, you’ll get some toothpaste between your teeth.
According to one survey, there’s about a fifty-fifty split among Americans, with a slight edge going to those who brush first. We think you should do whichever you prefer. Just be sure to do both!
Our recommendations are in line with the American Dental Association:
- Brush for at least two minutes, twice a day
- Use a soft-bristle brush, replaced every three months
- Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle at the gum line
- Brush in circular, half-tooth-wide strokes
- Be sure to get the back teeth
- Be sure to get in, outer, and top surfaces
- Don’t forget your tongue!
- With flossing, use about eighteen inches of floss, so you’ve got a clean piece for each section
Brushing and flossing are an essential part of your dental health regimen, and so is proper technique.
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