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Floss, Brush or Mouthwash First?

By Dr. Scott Frey

The Correct Order of Brushing, Flossing, and Using Mouthwash

  1. Floss or Use a Waterpik to completely clean between teeth. This allows your toothpaste to have complete access to all the nooks and crannies between your teeth. If you use a special tongue cleaner I would do it at this step.
  2. Brush your teeth with a low-abrasive, fluoride toothpaste. After you are done spit out the toothpaste and do not rinse out your mouth with any water. This will leave a thin coating of toothpaste on the surfaces of your teeth that will help fluoridate your enamel.
  3. Rinse for 30 seconds to 1 minute with a fluoride containing mouthwash. This last step will help drive the reaction of fluoridating your enamel and will dramatically extend the contact time of fluoride with your teeth. This is especially important at night when your teeth are repairing themselves from any harsh sugars and acids they encountered during the day.

Brush or Floss First?

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