Floss, Brush, Rinse: Does the Order Matter in Your Dental Hygiene Routine?

smiling woman brushes teeth

Maintaining a proper dental hygiene routine is crucial for keeping your mouth healthy and your smile bright. But when it comes to the steps involved – flossing, brushing, and rinsing – does the order in which you perform them really matter? At Dunwoody Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we often encounter this question from our patients. In this blog, we’ll explore the best practices for your dental hygiene routine and whether the sequence of flossing, brushing, and rinsing makes a difference.

Understanding the Purpose of Each Step

Before diving into the order, it’s essential to understand what each step accomplishes:

  • Flossing: Removes plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gumline, areas where your toothbrush can’t reach.
  • Brushing: Cleans the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of your teeth using toothpaste, which helps remove plaque and bacteria while providing fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel.
  • Rinsing: Helps to remove any remaining particles and freshen your mouth. Depending on the type of mouthwash used, it can also provide additional benefits like reducing bacteria, strengthening teeth, or addressing specific conditions like dry mouth.

The Recommended Order: Floss, Brush, Rinse

While opinions may vary, many dental professionals, including our team at Dunwoody Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, recommend the following order for your dental hygiene routine:

  1. Floss: Starting with flossing allows you to loosen and remove plaque and food debris from between your teeth and gumline, preparing your mouth for a more effective brushing session. By flossing first, you ensure that when you brush and rinse afterward, you’re cleaning away particles already loosened by flossing.
  2. Brush: After flossing, brush your teeth for at least two minutes. Brushing second allows the fluoride from your toothpaste to better penetrate between teeth and along the gumline, areas that were just cleaned by flossing. Remember to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste for optimal results.
  3. Rinse: Finally, finish your routine by rinsing with mouthwash. Rinsing can help wash away any lingering particles and bacteria. It also provides an additional layer of protection against plaque and cavities, especially if you use a fluoride or antibacterial mouthwash.

Does the Order Really Matter?

While the floss-brush-rinse sequence is widely recommended, the most important aspect is that you are consistently practicing each step in your daily routine. However, following this particular order can enhance the effectiveness of your dental hygiene by ensuring that your mouth is as clean as possible and that fluoride from toothpaste has the best chance to strengthen your teeth.

Personalizing Your Routine

It’s important to note that individual needs can vary. For example, some people may be advised by their dental professionals to use a medicated mouthwash before brushing, depending on their specific oral health issues. Always follow the personalized advice given by your dentist or dental hygienist.

While the order of flossing, brushing, and rinsing can enhance the effectiveness of your daily dental care routine, the most critical factor is consistency and thoroughness in each step. At Dunwoody Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we are committed to helping you maintain optimal oral health. If you have questions about your dental hygiene routine or need personalized advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Remember, a healthy mouth contributes to a healthy body, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Posted on Behalf of Dunwoody Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

1816 Independence Square, Suite B,
Dunwoody, GA 30338

Tel: (770) 399-9199

Mon - Thr 7:00am - 4:00pm
Friday Open until 1pm
(on the Fridays we are open)


Call our office or use our online contact option to schedule your appointment now!

Our Patient Reviews

Dunwoody Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
4.8 / 5.0

Based on 268 reviews

  • Laurie Hardie

    Great technology to find problems early and the staff was excellent.

  • Laurie Hardie

    The staff is wonderful. The wait time is minimal and the billing department is easy to deal with.

  • Brenda Taylor

    Dr. Ojibway is wonderful, staff is professional and amazingly friendly and office and treatment are beautiful and clean. Would never go anywhere else.

  • Jeannine Bartch

    Dr. Ojibway and her team have helped me get my smile back. The office is beautiful and the environment is relaxing and very friendly.

  • Whitney Appenfelder

    I have been seeing Leslie and Dr. Bruce for about 20 years! Love their personalities and service. I highly recommend them!

  • Hanna K. K.

    What a great team. Thank you so much for your help. Looking forward to see you next time!

  • Glenda Stevenson

    Nice office friendly what I liked most was that the doctor was very thorough.

  • Debra Ray- Bond

    Great service. My teeth look fantastic. Love this Dentist. Highly recommend her.

  • Jeannine Bartch

    Dr. Ojibway and her team have helped me get my smile back. The office is beautiful and the environment is relaxing and very friendly.

  • Jerry Cox

    Highly professional and efficient service, stem to stern. Also the account manager makes it fun to pay my bill!!


1816 Independence Square, Suite B,
Dunwoody, GA 30338


Tel: (770) 399-9199
Email: dfcd@ident.com

Practice Hours

Mon - Thr 7:00am - 4:00pm
Friday Open until 1pm
(on the Fridays we are open)

Call Now: (770) 399-9199 Schedule an appointment