Should I Floss Or Brush First?

When you get ready for bed and go through your nightly routine, it may have crossed your mind—should I brush first or should I floss? This age-old question has haunted dentists and lay people alike since the dawn of oral hygiene, but science has finally settled the debate! Here at SKS Orthodontics, your local Fayetteville, North Syracuse and Fulton orthodontist offices, we are proud to have everything you need to know about whether you should brush or floss first and why!

Case Closed

We are excited to provide and answer to this important question to our patients who live in Fayetteville, Fulton or North Syracuse. You can rest easy knowing that the American Association of Orthodontists has cited recent studies showing that there is an ideal sequence to your nightly oral hygiene routine. The verdict: it is more effective to floss before brushing!


Before we get into the science, it’s important to point out that brushing before you floss is not bad for your teeth—the essential point is that you should brush twice a day for two minutes and floss at least once a day. Once you’ve achieved that level of oral hygiene, then we can start to think about the process in greater detail. According to the study published in the Journal of Periodontology, flossing before brushing left dramatically less plaque residue on the teeth, which means lower chance of gum disease and tooth decay. The controlled crossover study showed that flossing first also increases the effectiveness of the fluoride from your toothpaste, helping to strengthen your enamel and reduce the risk of cavities. 

What Else Have We Learned?

Another important conclusion to draw from this data is that brushing and flossing together, in either order, dramatically decreases your chances of tooth decay, gum disease, and cavities. As a reminder, make sure to brush your teeth as soon as you can after eating, and especially before you go to bed. It is also important to avoid sugary drinks and sweets, which can cause decay and lead to painful conditions that are difficult to treat.

Visit Your Local Fayetteville Orthodontist!

One of the best ways to prevent oral health issues is to come visit your orthodontist in Fayetteville, NY. Visiting your orthodontic professional every four to six months allows us to oversee your oral health and make sure your teeth are developing towards a healthy smile. Contact us at SKS Orthodontics to schedule a free consultation today!

Ready to transform your smile?

Our Locations


404 E. Genesee St.
Fayetteville, NY 13066
(315) 458-0020

North Syracuse

7334 Buckley Rd.
North Syracuse, NY 13212
(315) 458-0020


633 W. Third St.
Fulton, NY 13069
(315) 458-0020

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