In honor of Children’s Dental Health month, I’d like to share the findings of a recent study with you. I’ve wondered if it mattered whether I brush and then floss or floss and then brush. I honestly didn’t think it mattered much. However, a recent study showed that people who floss first have two big advantages:
- Less plaque buildup (that white fuzzy stuff on your teeth)
- Higher concentrations of fluoride (the stuff that strengthens your enamel) between teeth
Our recommendation for anyone in braces is that you brush your teeth after every meal. Food and plaque buildup so easily around your brackets. If you don’t have time to brush, at least rinse your mouth out with water. A note about brushing: you HAVE to look in a mirror while you’re brushing and when you think you’re done. Check around all the brackets, under the wire, and along your gums. If you see any white fuzzy stuff, KEEP BRUSHING!! You should brush for 2 minutes each time.
You should also floss once a day. Now we know that it’s best to floss before you brush. But to be honest, I would be a happy orthodontist if all my patients flossed once ANY time of the day. Colgate has some good tips for flossing with braces on – check it out!