Flossing with toothpaste: Should I brush or floss first?
Knowing the benefits of flossing with toothpaste
If you still disregard flossing on a regular basis, you are in for a world of trouble. Flossing is so important that it could be the only thing that keeps diseases such as gum disease and even decay at bay.
Brushing alone is certainly not enough to clean away all the food remnants, debris and plaque as the brush cannot reach the shielded areas between the teeth, but floss sure does. From that aspect, a pretty reasonable question arises “Flossing with toothpaste, could that really help?”
First things first, you should know that toothpaste is an adjunct to the oral hygiene regimen, meaning that using toothpaste is not strictly essential. Most of the commercial toothpastes on the market don’t even have an active ingredient, and all they do is give a nice fresh feeling, and a good taste inside your mouth, and – for a little while- a great breath; however, some contain active ingredients that are capable of distinct actions, examples being:
So a toothpaste with any of these active ingredients is certainly helpful, but you can do without a toothpaste that doesn’t have any, meaning that the correct technique of brushing and flossing is all that matters.
So let’s get to the point, Flossing with toothpaste, do or don’t?
Adding anything with an active ingredient to your brushing and flossing regimen is certainly helpful, whether it is a mouth wash, a toothpaste, even salt water can be of particular benefit, so if you decide to add a fluoride containing toothpaste to your floss, you will not be mistaken.
When you use string floss with a toothpaste with an active ingredient, you are forcing this active ingredient into the areas between the teeth, which do not get such ingredients through brushing alone, and therefore you are helping areas of the teeth that could not hope to benefit from these ingredients without flossing. But come to think about it, how exactly are you going to do that? How will you be able to add the paste to a small piece of string .. that seems impossible, doesn’t it?
Well there is a simple solution for that .. use the paste that is left over after you finish brushing, so instead of wrapping up and rinsing your mouth after brushing, use the string with the foaming remains of the toothpaste before washing
This raises an entirely new issue .. Should I brush or floss first?
When you floss, you stir up the remains and debris that are stuck between the teeth. These find their way to the surface of the teeth and gums, and would be swept away when you brush. So long story short .. Floss first then brush for maximum efficiency.
This may seem as counter-intuitive to our main topic that is using toothpaste with floss. First we said that the only way to get toothpaste to mix with the floss is using the remnants of the toothpaste from the brushing, or in other words .. brushing first. Then we said it is advisable for maximum efficiency of cleaning to floss first then brush.
So which is right, brushing or flossing first?
To be honest, there is no strict guideline on the matter. Dental professionals would advise to brush twice daily, and floss 2 to 3 times a week, but no one explored the inter-relationship between the two acts, so no one could say which comes
first is better.
So why don’t we take advantage of the 2 scenarios, what if we tell you that there is a solution to this “chicken or egg came first” dilemma?
Your answer is: Water flossers.
Water flossers in theory could solve this predicament. We established that flossing first is correct for maximum cleaning efficiency as the debris between the teeth are cleaned more thoroughly this way, but we also said that adding a Fluoridated tooth paste – or any other toothpaste with an active ingredient- to the act of flossing is beneficial. Water flossers can do both. You could start your oral hygiene regimen with using the water flosser, to which you could add a fluoridated mouth wash or any other product with a specific active ingredient as you need, so basically you just hit 2 birds with one stone.
Not only that, but consider what water flossers can do. These amazing devices have stepped up oral care to a whole new level. They improved the efficiency of flossing by more than 50% and decreased the rates of gum disease and gum bleeding significantly. They also facilitated the act of flossing when you have braces or heavy restorations as crowns and bridges on your teeth, which otherwise was a complete nightmare. Add to that the fact that they are extremely easy to use, and can be used by anyone even children, the elderly and people with manual dexterity issues as those suffering from Parkinson’s, and you find yourself facing a true wonder.
However, we know that they are not for everyone. It is not cheap, and takes a whole lot of space in your bathroom, and frankly some people are more than satisfied with string floss or other means of flossing, and have been using them for years with maximum efficiency. So in these cases, it is OK to use just string floss even if you can’t add toothpaste to the mix, its benefit will not be minimized, because as we mentioned before, it’s all about how you brush and floss rather than what you brush and floss with.
So when it comes to exploring the benefits of flossing with toothpaste, you can say it is quite beneficial for your teeth, but your time is better spent exploring the best ways of flossing and brushing, not worrying how to help them with