Dr. Cohen's Blog

Monday, November 16, 2015

Is flossing better before or after brushing?


I’m frequently asked about this question and scientifically, there aren’t a lot of studies that address it directly. Based on existing evidence, flossing first isn’t necessarily better for oral health than the other way around. Although dentists have their own opinions on this matter. The America Dental Association recommends flossing first and the reason for it is purely based on the fact that if you get the unpleasant task out of the way then there is less temptation to not do it. Honestly, if you were going to skip one of these tasks, which one will it be? Most likely the flossing!!

I personally recommend my patients to brush first with fluoride toothpaste, then floss.  Your mouth will be clean and covered with fluoride as you maneuver the floss. Surprisingly to many, the main benefit of flossing is not to prevent cavities even though some dentists or hygienists suggest it. Rather, flossing is to prevent bloody gums and reducing the gum inflammation known as Gingivitis. Flossing can dislodge food particles that if left in will gradually cause inflammation.  Unfortunately, many patients lose teeth due to Gingivitis.

As far as flossing technique is concerned, guide the floss along the curves of the gum line at the base of each tooth to assure all food debris are taken out. When it comes to children and their oral care, I recommend to have an adult do the flossing for the child or at least supervise till you feel confident that he or she has mastered this important skill which will surly help them have a life time of better oral health.  As long as they floss, it can be their choice to do it before or after brushing.

Cohen Dental Care's Briarwood office serves patients throughout Jamaica, Jamaica Estates, Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens Hills, Richmond Hill, Forest Hills, Hillcrest, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Woodhaven, Ozone Park, Queens Village, Brooklyn and New York City. Through our Great Neck Office we serve residence of Lake Success, Manhasset, Roslyn, Port Washington, Glen Cove, New Hyde Park, Floral Park, Brookville, Old Westbury, Garden City, Little Neck, Douglaston and Bayside.

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23 Bond Street, Suite 3, Great Neck, NY 11021
| Phone: 516-604-0700
85-15 Main Street, Suite C, Briarwood, NY 11435
| Phone: 718-658-8341
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