Our Ottawa dentists recommend you brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss once a day. But some patients choose to skip flossing for a number of reasons. Here, we explain why flossing is important and why you should avoid skipping it.
The Importance of Flossing
Preventive oral hygiene is more than attending regular dental exams and cleanings. It also means practicing daily oral health routines at home, like brushing and flossing regularly.
Flossing once a day is the most effective way to clean between your teeth and under your gum line. It aids in cleaning these spaces and preventing plaque buildup, which helps to prevent issues such as cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
There are many myths about flossing, which can cause people to skip this vital oral health care practice altogether.
Here, our dentists debunk some of the myths about flossing and explain why you should never skip this important practice.
Myth: You only need to floss if you have food stuck in your teeth.
Because brushing does not remove bacteria from between the teeth, only a portion of the tooth surface is cleaned. Even if you don't feel or see 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: You can use mouthwash instead of floss.
Mouthwash, like brushing, does not remove plaque between your teeth. While mouthwash can be a useful addition to your oral health care routine, it should never be used in place of flossing.
Myth: You can't floss if you are wearing braces.
It may be more difficult to floss if you have traditional metal braces, but it is still necessary. Flossing will help keep your gum line clean and free from plaque buildup 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: Your children are too young to floss.
The earlier children begin flossing their teeth, the more likely it is that they will maintain good oral health care routines into adulthood. If they are having difficulty flossing on their own, try encouraging and assisting them along the way. You can floss for your child if they are under the age of ten.
Myth: Your gums bleed when you floss, so you should stop.
If your gums bleed while flossing, this is usually an indication that you should floss more frequently. The more you floss, the less likely your gums are to bleed. If your gums are constantly bleeding, even after regular flossing, this could be a sign of another dental problem, such as periodontal disease, so discuss your concerns with your dentist.