There are a lot of misconceptions about flossing that we have to dispel for our patients. By debunking common myths, our Ottawa dentists explain why flossing is so important and why you should not skip it.
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.
Flossing between the teeth and under the gum line daily is an effective way to clean between the teeth and under the gum line. Flossing not only cleans these spaces but also helps prevent plaque buildup, which can lead to long-term tooth and gum damage.
There are a lot of myths about flossing, which can lead to people skipping this important oral health care routine. Our Ottawa 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 from between the 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 forming and can only be removed by flossing to avoid cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
Myth 2: You can use mouthwash instead of floss.
Mouthwash, like brushing, will not remove plaque between your teeth. Mouthwash can be a useful addition to your oral hygiene routine, but it should never be used in place of 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 Invisalign clear aligners, that can be removed for brushing and flossing to make the process easier.
Myth 4: Your children are too young to floss.
It's never too soon for children to begin flossing. The earlier they begin, the more likely they are to develop and maintain good oral health care habits throughout their lives. Encourage them and assist them along the way if they are having difficulty flossing on their own. You can do it for your child if he or she is under the age of ten.
Myth 5: Your gums bleed when you floss, so you should stop.
If your gums bleed, it's normally a sign that you should floss more frequently, not less. Your gums may be bleeding simply because you haven't flossed them in a long time. Your gums will likely bleed less if you floss frequently. If your gums are bleeding frequently, it could be a sign of gingivitis or gum disease, so talk to your dentist about your concerns.