Our Parksville 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.
Daily flossing is the most effective method for cleaning between teeth and below the gum line. It helps to clean these spaces and prevent the accumulation of plaque, thereby preventing problems 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.
Since brushing does not eliminate bacteria between the teeth, only a portion of the tooth surface is cleaned. Even if you do not feel or see anything stuck between your teeth, plaque is still accumulating and can only be removed by flossing to prevent problems such as cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
Myth: You can use mouthwash instead of floss.
Similar to brushing, mouthwash does not remove plaque from between the teeth. Although mouthwash can be a useful addition to your oral hygiene routine, it should never be used in place of flossing.
Myth: You can't floss if you are wearing braces.
Traditional metal braces may make flossing more difficult, but it is still necessary. During orthodontic treatment, flossing will help keep your gum line clean and free from plaque buildup. Alternative orthodontic treatment options exist today, such as Invisalign clear aligners that can be removed for brushing and flossing.
Myth: Your children are too young to floss.
The earlier children begin flossing, the more likely they are to maintain good oral hygiene practices as adults. If they are having difficulty flossing on their own, try encouraging and assisting them. If your child is younger than 10 years of age, you can floss for him or her.
Myth: Your gums bleed when you floss, so you should stop.
If your gums bleed while flossing, this is typically an indication that you need to floss more frequently. The more you floss, the less likely it is that your gums will bleed. If your gums continue to bleed despite regular flossing, it could be a sign of another dental issue such as periodontal disease; therefore, you should discuss your concerns with your dentist.