What comes first Brush or Floss?
By Maria from Today’s Dental Centre in Oak Bay, Victoria, BC.
Flossing and brushing are more effective than flossing alone. A toothbrush works by physically removing plaque (plaque is a bacteria laden film) using bristles and hand mechanical action. Although this technique is very effective it does have a shortcoming: A toothbrush’s bristles cannot satisfactorily clean between the teeth or under the gums.
This is why flossing is an adjunct to daily oral hygiene. Plaque that is not removed can harden into tartar, a hard mineral deposit that forms on teeth and can only be removed through professional cleaning by a dental professional. When this happens, brushing and cleaning between teeth become more difficult, and gum tissue can become swollen or may bleed. This condition is called gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease.
Flossing helps remove debris and interproximal dental plaque, the plaque that collects between two teeth. Dental floss (or dental tape) helps clean these hard-to-reach tooth surfaces and reduces the likelihood of gum disease and tooth decay.
The ADA Suggests that flossing before you brush also helps make brushing more effective: With less plaque caught between your teeth, the fluoride in toothpaste can get to more parts of your mouth. Think of floss and a toothbrush as a dental paintbrush and paint roller, respectively. You could paint your living room walls with just one of the tools, but using them together will provide a much more satisfactory result. (source is ADA)
Flossing is more than just clean teeth, having improper oral hygiene can aggravate other diseases such as, heart disease, severe osteopenia, uncontrolled diabetes, preterm or lowterm birth weight babies.