Ideal Order of Flossing, Brushing & Mouthwashing (+Mistakes to Avoid)

Ideal Order of Flossing, Brushing & Mouthwashing (+Mistakes to Avoid)

Healthy habits like flossing, brushing, and rinsing with mouthwash are vital in helping protect your smile in the long run. 

If you’re taking proactive steps to stay on top of your oral hygiene, you may be wondering what the proper order is for the best results. 

This article is a complete guide to the most effective floss, brush, and mouthwash order. It will equip you with essential knowledge on how to optimize your oral care routine by diving into the following:

  • The right order for good dental hygiene
  • Common mistakes and misconceptions
  • Importance of personalizing your routine

Let’s get started! 

The Ideal Order

Aside from consistency, the order in which you floss, brush, and use mouthwash is crucial in maintaining your dental health because it can provide different advantages and disadvantages depending on the combination. 

Let’s take a look at the most widely recommended order by dentists and health professionals: 

Understanding the Role of Mouthwash 

In addition to giving you fresh breath, incorporating mouthwash into your daily oral care routine can bring several other benefits. 

Mouthwash can reduce the risk of developing gum disease because it can reach areas in your mouth that a toothbrush can’t! 

The American Dental Association (ADA) also notes that mouthwash can help in controlling plaque and even slow down the formation of tartar. 

If you are wondering whether you should rinse with mouthwash before or after brushing, the answer is not as simple and straightforward due to the limited scientific research. 

The Mayo Clinic advises using mouthwash after brushing and flossing. However, the National Health Service (NHS) advises against using mouthwash immediately after brushing, as this could remove the fluoride from your toothpaste. The NHS advises using mouthwash at a different time of day instead.

According to the ADA, mouthwash can be used either before or after brushing, depending on personal preference. Having said that, mouthwash makers could suggest a regimen based on the contents in their product; therefore, make sure to read the label on your mouthwash to optimize its benefits.

However, the ADA also states that you can choose between either of the two based on your personal preference

Moreover, be sure to check the label on your mouthwash because some brands may recommend a particular order to maximize the product’s effects. 

Many people typically rinse with mouthwash in the last step of their routine to keep their breath as fresh as possible. 

However, doing this can also rinse away the active ingredients in the toothpaste that remineralize and protect your teeth.  

The best strategy is to kickstart your routine by using mouthwash first, especially in the morning, since the bacteria that can cause gum diseases increases its activity while you sleep.  

If you are looking to elevate your oral health, you can try Boka's chewable mouthwash tablets – a unique oral care product that is gaining rapid popularity because of its effectiveness and convenience! 

Cleaning Between Your Teeth

Another seemingly counterintuitive step is to floss first before you brush your teeth. 

While flossing after brushing is better than not flossing completely, remember that your toothbrush can only reach the front and back of your teeth. 

Flossing before brushing is like sweeping a floor before mopping it. In that sense, it’s generally better to floss first so that your toothpaste can have full access in between the teeth when you brush. 

The practice of flossing is meant to get deep into the sulcus, which is basically the space where bacteria live between the gum and tooth.

So, remember to take the time to go through all the gaps between your teeth! You can further enhance your flossing technique by bringing these bacteria out using an upward motion. 

To take your flossing routine to the next level, check out Boka’s Power Flosser. It is designed to help maintain healthy teeth and gums with the push of a button. 

The Power Flosser comes with 3 pressure settings, a 360-degree rotating nozzle, and a rechargeable battery that can last up to 30 days.

Brushing with Patience

Time and technique are incredibly crucial when it comes to brushing your teeth. Be sure to always brush for around 2 to 3 minutes in both vertical and circular motions. 

Using an automated toothbrush is also an excellent option to target the smaller sections of your teeth by covering all the motions. 

Another area where you may need to reevaluate your technique is brushing. Tilt your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum and brush in a circular motion into the gum. You should brush all of your teeth, starting with the chewing surfaces or external surfaces and ending with the inner surfaces. 

Brushing your teeth after you floss ensures that both your toothbrush and toothpaste work in the most efficient manner. 

It also gives you the advantage of allowing your toothbrush to quickly soak in peroxide before using. Hydrogen peroxide for a few seconds will kill the bacteria that thrive on your toothbrush bristles. 

Lastly, remember to avoid brushing too hard because it can lead to sensitive teeth and gum recession. For a deep yet gentle clean, Boka’s electric toothbrush utilizes advanced sonic technology and activated charcoal bristles. 

When it comes to choosing a toothpaste, it’s important to opt for a product made with proven ingredients and a feel-good formula. 

Boka’s Nano-hydroxyapatite (n-Ha) Toothpaste is the future of toothpaste because it supports enamel health, remineralizes teeth, and freshens breath without any use of fluoride or artificial flavors! 

Using a Tongue Scraper

Did you know that your tongue is responsible for whenever you have bad breath? The tongue is one of the most often neglected aspects when it comes to oral hygiene. 

If you fail to brush or scrape your tongue after brushing your teeth, you are significantly raising the chances of getting bad breath. 

The tongue is made of virtually countless little crypts that harbor both debris and bacteria. A tongue coating will form if these are not removed regularly, which is one of the major causes of gross breath.

Scraping your tongue twice a day is vital, especially in the morning. You can opt for a tongue scraper or make use of the rubber surface behind your toothbrush to clean it in circular and vertical motions. 

Boka’s complete oral care kit consists of an extensive set of dental essentials, including a Rasana Tongue Cleaner to help improve your daily oral care routine. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid

To ensure that you achieve the best results from your oral care routine in the long term, here is a list of the most common errors that you need to be mindful of: 

  • Diluting your mouthwash - If the flavor of your mouthwash is too strong, it can be tempting to dilute it with water. However, it’s crucial to stick with the recommended concentration as it can significantly lower its effectiveness. 
  • Overusing mouthwash - It is possible to use too much mouthwash. Since a large number of mouthwashes have active ingredients, overuse can lead to irritation, dryness, and other issues. 
  • Using mouthwash as a solution to chronic bad breath - While it’s perfectly fine to use mouthwash as a quick and temporary fix for bad breath, it won’t solve any of the underlying conditions from halitosis. 
  • Flossing your teeth roughly - It’s vital to remove the plaque when flossing, but remember to be gentle on your teeth and gums during the process. Flossing your teeth in a rough manner can not only make your gums bleed but can cause other dental issues as well. 
  • Not flowing the entire tooth - You need to the sides of your tooth entirely with floss to get each one completely clean. To do this, you can form the floss into a C-shape and slide it vertically along with covering the back of each tooth. 
  • Only flossing above the gum line - You can also take full advantage of the pliability and thinness of floss by ascending it 2 to 3 millimeters below the gum line. It can significantly help in removing the bacteria that compromise your tooth health and contribute to gum disease.
  • Not taking care of your toothbrush - Maintaining your toothbrush simply involves rinsing it with water and allowing it to dry after each use. Storing your toothbrush correctly is also crucial. Make sure that it is stored upright and that the cover is thoroughly cleaned. 
  • Not replacing your toothbrush regularly - Your toothbrush won’t be able to clean your teeth as effectively when it gets older and old bristles can even damage your gums if you are not careful. To prevent this, make sure to replace your toothbrush or its head every 3 to 4 months. 
  • Brushing your teeth too hard - Brushing your teeth harder isn’t always better and is one of the most prevalent mistakes made by many. Since plaque and debris are relatively soft and loose, the best way to brush your teeth is to do it softly with only a small amount of pressure. 

Personalizing Your Routine

Habits can be difficult to break but as long as you are flossing and brushing your teeth daily, you can rest assured that you are on the path to good dental health!

The most important thing to remember is to take your time and apply the right techniques in your routine. 

With that being said, it’s important to tailor your routine for specific conditions, dental health needs, and individual preferences. 

For instance, if you are dealing with gum disease, studies have shown that flossing before brushing your teeth is the ideal sequence to get rid of plaque, which is the primary cause of gum infections.

Keep in mind that dental health has a massive correlation to diabetes, osteoporosis, cardiovascular issues, and more.

What is the superior method: brushing, flossing, and mouthwash, or flossing, brushing, and mouthwash first? To be honest, both strategies will promote good dental hygiene practices when implemented correctly. The secret is to truly take your time and use the right technique when flossing and brushing. You will not obtain the best outcomes if you speed through either. To achieve optimal dental health, you must invest the necessary time. 

As such, it goes without saying that “health starts with the mouth.” 

Regardless of the order you decide to go with, practicing the 3 major steps listed above on a regular basis will lead to better dental hygiene because they are all equally as important to your overall health! 

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