Our dentists recommend our patients brush their teeth at least twice a day, and floss once a day. Today, our Lloydminster dentists explain why flossing is so important and why you should not skip it by debunking common myths you may have heard about this important oral hygiene step.
Preventive oral hygiene is more than attending regular dental checkups. It's important that you 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 many myths about flossing, which can cause people to skip this vital oral health care practice altogether. Here our Lloydminster dentists debunk 5 of these common myths and explain why you should never skip flossing between your teeth.
Myth 1: You only need to floss when you have food stuck in your teeth.
Brushing alone won't remove bacteria in between teeth, which means only a portion of the tooth’s surface is getting cleaned. Even if you don't see or feel something stuck between your teeth, there is plaque building up that can only be removed by flossing to prevent issues 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 a good 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.
It may be harder to floss with braces, but it is still a necessary practice. With braces, gums are more likely to become inflamed, so flossing will help keep your gum line clean and free from plaque build-up during your orthodontic treatment. Today, there are also alternative orthodontic treatment options, like clear aligners, that can be removed for brushing and flossing to make the process easier.
Myth 4: Your children are too young to floss.
You should begin flossing your child's teeth as soon as they have two side by side. In fact, the earlier they start the more likely it is for them to develop and maintain good oral health care routines into adulthood.
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. However, if after a few weeks of diligent flossing your gums are still bleeding you should make an appointment with your dentist. Bleeding gums can indicate gingivitis.