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Brushing and Flossing: Which Should Be Done First?

Brushing and flossing.

In case you have any doubt, it takes both a toothbrush and some dental floss to get a really clean and healthy mouth. Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste cleans the broad surfaces of your teeth and brings cavity-fighting minerals into your mouth. Flossing removes bacteria-filled dental plaque and food particles from spaces between your teeth where a toothbrush just can't reach. But which one should you do first?

We won't keep you in suspense: Either way is fine — there is no conclusive evidence that doing one before the other will keep you healthier. However, dentists have identified various advantages of starting with one vs. the other. Dear Doctor presents the two articles on the following pages to help you decide whether to brush or floss first. But remember: Whichever way you start, the important thing is to do both — every day!

Brush Teeth Before Flossing

Get into the habit for good oral hygiene... by Sebastian G. Ciancio, DDS

Floss Teeth Before Brushing

Remove plaque for a smile that's clean and healthy... by Daniel A. DelCastillo, DMD