Our dentists recommend our patients brush their teeth at least twice a day, and floss once a day. There are actually a lot of myths about flossing that we often need to clear up for our patients. Here, our Warman dentists explain why flossing is so important and why you should not skip it by debunking common myths.
Preventive oral hygiene is more than attending regular dental checkups. It's also imperative to practice daily oral health care routines at home. This means brushing and flossing regularly.
Daily flossing is an effective way to clean between the teeth and under the gum line. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces but also helps prevent plaque from building up so you can avoid long-term damage to the teeth and gums.
There are numerous flossing myths that can lead to people avoiding this important oral health care practice entirely. Our Warman dentists debunk 5 of these common myths and explain why flossing between your teeth is essential.
Myth 1: You only need to floss when you have food stuck in your teeth.
Brushing alone will not remove bacteria in between teeth, so only a portion of the tooth's surface will be cleaned. Even if you don't see or feel anything stuck between your teeth, plaque is accumulating and can only be removed by flossing to avoid problems like cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
Myth 2: You can use mouthwash instead of floss.
Like brushing, mouthwash won't remove the plaque between your teeth. While mouthwash can be an effective addition to your oral health care routine, it should never be used as a replacement for flossing.
Myth 3: You can't floss because you have braces.
Flossing may be more difficult with braces, but it is still a necessary practice. Because braces increase the likelihood of gum inflammation, flossing will help keep your gum line clean and free of plaque buildup during your orthodontic treatment. To make the process easier, there are now alternative orthodontic treatment options that can be removed for brushing and flossing.
Myth 4: Your children are too young to floss.
It is never too early for children to begin flossing. In fact, the earlier they begin, the more likely they are to develop and maintain good oral health care routines throughout their lives. If they are having difficulty flossing on their own, try to encourage and assist them. You can do it for your child if they are under the age of ten.
Myth 5: Your gums bleed when you floss, so you should stop.
If your gums bleed, this is usually a sign that you need to floss more often, not less. Your gums could be bleeding simply because they’re not used to being flossed. The more you floss, the less your gums will bleed. If your gums are bleeding continually, then it could be a sign of gingivitis or gum disease, so be sure to share any concerns with your dentist.