What came First; the toothbrush, floss, or mouthwash?

What is the right time and order for the different steps of dental hygiene? Starting your morning with fresh breath is always important; so should it be before eating or after? If your breakfast involves oranges or anything acidic it’s important to brush after you eat. If your kids or even yourself are eating gummy vitamins in the morning, it’s also important for them to brush soon after taking the gummies because they contain sugars and that feeds tooth decay. Brushing first or flossing first has no proven scientific consensus. As long as you are brushing at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing at least once a day with either string or floss picks, you are good to go. What about mouthwash? According to a spokesperson from the ADA, “Mouthwash is not a necessary step to maintain good oral health,” because most simply make your breath smell clean and nice. Fluoride mouthwashes, “which strengthen the enamel on your teeth, also work best if they come last.”

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The Oral Health Topics on ADA.org and MouthHealthy.org provide additional information on brushing teeth for dental professionals and patients. MouthHealthy.org also provides resources for patients on flossing, including information on the correct flossing technique.