The dental irrigator: Is it used before or after brushing?

Find out if you should use the dental irrigator before or after brushing

Is the irrigator used? before or after brushing? An eternal debate in which it seems that there is no unanimity among the experts in the sector. In Max Flosser we are going to analyze the pros and cons of its use in the process, to try to determine when is the right time to use it.

Importance of the correct sequence of use of the toothbrush and dental irrigator

Does the result change much when using the irrigator before or after brushing? In both cases, its function is the same: Improve the quality of cleaningeliminating all the remains, dirt and bacteria that the toothbrush cannot reach.

However, as we will see in the following points, depending on the order, one result or another will be obtained. For this reason, it is very important to establish a sequence of use, according to your specific needs.

Dental irrigator before brushing: Advantages and disadvantages

Taking into account the power of the irrigator, the logical option would be to use it before brushing, since it will help to clean the mouth better. What would be the result?

Advantages of using the irrigator before or after brushing


  • Softens bacterial plaque and tartar, helping to make it easier to remove with a toothbrush.
  • Softens food debris trapped between teeth, making it easier to floss.
  • For those who use an appliance, it is much more practical to use the irrigator first, since it removes food debris stuck to the threads.
  • When cleaning an orthodontic brace, the water jet helps to expel the remains of dirt that accumulate in the tiny hole.
  • The irrigator allows to clean the periodontal pockets, expelling the dirt that falls towards the teeth. Using the brush, you can get rid of such dirt, preventing it from sticking.


  • Some food debris may be very stuck, and may not be able to be removed with the string.
  • Plaque softens when it comes into contact with water, but a regular toothbrush isn't very helpful in removing it.
  • In cases of bleeding gums, you may feel some discomfort when brushing your teeth after using the irrigator, since its jet helps to "relieve" the pain.

Dental irrigator after brushing: advantages and disadvantages

Let's go to the opposite case, what are the advantages and disadvantages of using a dental irrigator after brushing?

Advantages of using the irrigator after brushing


  • The first step of the toothbrush helps to mobilize the plaque, making it easier to “break up” it with the help of the irrigator.
  • For those who suffer from dental sensitivity, after using the toothbrush, the irrigator helps reduce discomfort. It will have the same effect if they suffer from gum inflammation.
  • The jet of the irrigator will help expel the remains of tartar, or plaque fragments, that have remained in the mouth.
  • Food debris will be "looser" after flossing, so it will be easier for the jet to expel those trapped between the teeth.
  • As the water from the irrigator can be combined with mouthwash, after use you will feel a pleasant feeling of cleanliness and freshness.
  • By removing all the remains of plaque and tartar, the teeth are whiter.


  • According to some experts, since the toothbrush has previously removed part of the plaque, the contact of the water jet with the teeth can damage them.
  • Flossing can cause the rest of the food to end up trapped in the periodontal pocket, making it more difficult to “extract” it with the stream.

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