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Brush or Floss? Which Comes First?

Using Dental Floss

Story at-a-glance -

  • Some dentists recommend flossing first because it lessens the risk that you’ll simply skip it once you’re done with brushing
  • Others recommend flossing first because you can then brush away any plaque particles or food debris that have been removed
  • Still others advise brushing your teeth and then flossing before you rinse, as you’ll pull some of the toothpaste between your teeth as you floss
  • You can brush or floss first, whichever you prefer

By Dr. Mercola

Nearly 70 percent of Americans brush their teeth at least twice a day, but only 40 percent floss at least once daily. Twenty percent of Americans say they never floss, and although a Delta Dental survey found a strong association between daily flossing and good oral health, other sources are not so clear-cut.


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