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5 Common Myths About Flossing

Our dentists advise our patients to brush their teeth twice a day and floss once a day. There are numerous flossing myths that we frequently need to dispel for our patients. By debunking common myths, our Parksville 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 once a day is an efficient way to clean between the teeth and under the gum line. Flossing not only cleans these spaces but also prevents plaque buildup, allowing you to avoid long-term damage to your teeth and gums.

Numerous flossing myths can lead to people avoiding this important oral health care practice entirely. Our Parksville dentists debunk 5 of these common myths and explain why flossing between your teeth should never be skipped.

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.

Mouthwash, like brushing, will not remove plaque between your teeth. While mouthwash can be a useful addition to your oral health regimen, it should never be used in place of 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. Gums are more likely to become inflamed when wearing braces, so 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 available, such as Invisalign clear aligners, which can be removed for brushing and flossing.

Myth 4: Your children are too young to floss.

It's never too early for children to begin flossing. The earlier they begin, the more likely they are to develop and maintain good oral health care routines into adulthood. If they are having difficulty flossing on their own, try to encourage them and assist them along the way. If your child is under the age of ten, you can do it for them.

Myth 5: Your gums bleed when you floss, so you should stop.

If your gums bleed, it is usually a sign that you should floss more frequently, not less. Your gums may be bleeding because they aren't used to being flossed. The more you floss, the less likely it is that your gums will bleed. If your gums are constantly bleeding, this could be a sign of gingivitis or gum disease, so discuss your concerns with your dentist.

To learn more about flossing, or to schedule an exam and cleaning, contact our Parksville dentists today.

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