What Comes First: Brushing Or Flossing?

Brushing and flossing are two of the best things you can do for maintaining great oral hygiene and are well-known all over the world. However, it’s not unusual to have asked yourself at some point: Should I brush or floss first?

You might have thought that the answer to this question is not very relevant but choosing to brush or floss at the beginning or at the end of your oral hygiene routine can have a significant impact on your dental hygiene and health. Taking care of your teeth and gums not only fights bad breath but can also prevent cavities, gum disease and tartar. So, what is the right order when it comes to brushing and flossing?

Why is flossing important?

Before understanding why one activity should come before the other, it’s important to first grasp the importance of flossing.

Cavities usually take shape in the hidden areas between our teeth where food debris remain. These are known as ‘interproximal caries’ and most of the tooth decay begins in-between teeth, where toothbrush bristles can’t really reach.

Unfortunately, a lot of people brush twice every day but fail to even consider flossing. However, flossing is actually just as important as brushing, if not even more crucial to keeping good dental hygiene.

But do you need to floss between brushing your teeth or afterwards?

You should floss before brushing your teeth.

According to recent studies, flossing before brushing is the most efficient method of removing plaque, bacteria and food particles from your mouth.


Flossing is done to dislodge pieces of food that become trapped between your teeth—the debris that’s hard to reach with your toothbrush’s bristles. These pieces usually can’t be removed using a regular brush because the bristles can’t penetrate the gaps between your teeth—the bristles are either too soft, short, thin, thick, or not solid enough. This means the debris is not brushed away and spat out when flossing is done after a complete brushing.

Flossing before brushing was also found to increase fluoride concentration delivered from the toothpaste, which makes your tooth enamel stronger, making it more resistant to decay.

So, it’s best to start by using a floss such as our Humble floss, which is strong and durable as well as coated with a cinnamon flavour and xylitol, to ensure that your flossing experience is as efficient, pleasant and effective as possible. Next, you can continue with your brushing, ideally ending your dental hygiene routine with your preferred mouthwash.

But how do you floss correctly?

When flossing, you need to gently remove the hidden nasties between your teeth by working between every tooth, right below the gumline. Slide the floss against the outside of every tooth, taking your time and making sure your teeth feel cleaner and fresher afterwards.


Whether you need to brush or floss first has a simple answer: focus on the flossing at the start of your daily dental hygiene routine. It not only eliminates debris from your teeth but also prepares them for a thorough cleaning with a flexible brush and fluoridated toothpaste. There are many benefits to following a proper oral hygiene routine like this one, mainly if you remember to floss and brush twice a day. For the best results, this should be done in the morning and in the evening.