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The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends brushing teeth twice a day and flossing between them once a day in order to maintain good oral health. However, you may wonder if it is better to brush your teeth before flossing, or floss your teeth before brushing.

This floss-or-brush-first question is quite a debate in parts of the dental community. Those for flossing before brushing support this technique because flossing will dislodge food debris and allow fluoride better access to the places between teeth. They also believe this order of oral hygiene routine is a good suggestion for those who dislike flossing, because they are less likely to skip flossing if they do it first.

Those for brushing first say this is better because floss could push bacteria up between the teeth and gums if done first. They also believe that flossing after brushing will help fluoride reach between teeth more easily because the mouth will have a lot of remaining fluoride from the toothpaste.

It is difficult to find a conclusive answer for the floss-or-brush-first question because there has not been a lot of research completed on the subject. However, the ADA states that it doesn’t matter which oral hygiene practice comes first, so long as you do both of them.