What is the best oral care routine? Keeping your teeth and gums healthy may require a little work, but it's certainly very doable. If you've ever had questions on how to go about rinsing, flossing and brushing, you're not alone. We will break down some of the most frequently asked questions about oral care, so keep your toothpaste and toothbrush at the ready! 

Should You Floss Before or After Brushing

Do you floss before or after brushing? Does it matter? 

You don't need to be an expert in oral hygiene to know that flossing is important. Basically, we floss to dislodge food between our teeth, but the benefits of flossing go beyond just that. Flossing can also remove plaque since the bristles of a toothbrush can't always reach that deeply into our gums. It's best to floss before you brush your teeth so that any food or debris that comes out doesn't stay in your mouth until the next time you floss. With this sequence, you keep your gums and teeth as healthy as possible. 

How do you floss your teeth correctly?

Knowing how to floss your teeth correctly can help you keep your gums healthy. When you floss, take out 18 to 24 inches, then hold the piece taut between your thumb and index fingers. Place the floss in between two teeth and gently glide up and down, curving the piece at the base of your teeth in a C shape. Repeat with each tooth and use a clean section of floss every time.

Do you use brushing rinse and mouthwash before or after brushing your teeth? 

We have to first talk about the difference between a brushing rinse and mouthwash. Mouthwash combats sugar acids, bacteria and plaque to help you maintain healthy teeth and gums. Desert Essence's mouthwash collection is formulated without sugar and alcohol. We use ingredients such as organic coconut oil and pure Australian tea tree oil to pull away oral impurities and freshen your breath. 

So, when should you rinse with mouthwash? According to the Mayo Clinic, you should use mouthwash after flossing and brushing your teeth. Use the cup provided with your product or a cup of your choice — you only need about half an ounce. Swish it around for 30 seconds, then spit it out. 

A brushing rinse, on the other hand, is formulated for use before brushing. Our brushing rinses use prebiotics such as inulin and chicory to foster a healthy mouth microbiome. Ingredients such as perilla seed and pure Australian tea tree oil help neutralize bacteria, while plant oils and extracts help purify the teeth and gum. Again, you only need to pour out half an ounce and swish for 30 seconds before spitting it out and brushing your teeth. 

Before using a brushing rinse, another option you have is oil pulling. Based on an ancient Ayurvedic practice in India, oil pulling uses the cleansing power of plant oils to help remove harmful bacteria and promote oral hygiene. Desert Essence's Coconut Oil Dual Phase Pulling Rinse contains organic coconut, sesame and sunflower oils to help remove impurities. Just keep in mind that oil pulling is not meant to be a replacement for brushing and flossing! 

Should you brush your tongue?

Yes, you should brush your tongue with toothpaste. Bacteria can build up on the tongue just as it can anywhere else in the mouth, as there are crevices and elevations all over the tongue. Rinsing isn't enough, so brush back and forth and side to side on your tongue before rinsing your mouth with water. Some people also prefer using a tongue scraper, which works as well. 

What is the correct oral care routine? 

Building up a consistent oral care routine is a great way to show your body, specifically your mouth, a little bit of daily kindness. Incorporating all of the ideas above, gargle a brush rinse of your choice, floss, brush, and then cap everything off with mouthwash. Make sure to brush at least twice a day — once in the morning and once at night. 

Breaking down the basics of oral care can be intimidating, but it's easy to get into a rhythm once you get the hang of it. With the proper techniques and applied diligence, you'll be on your way to healthier teeth and gums before you know it. Shop Desert Essence’s dental care collection to maintain your beautiful smile!