Our dentists recommend our patients brush their teeth at least twice a day, and floss once a day. There are actually a lot of myths about flossing that we often need to clear up for our patients. Here, our Woodbridge dentists explain why flossing is so important and why you should not skip it by debunking common myths.
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.
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 numerous flossing myths that can lead to people avoiding this important oral health care practice entirely. Our Woodbridge 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 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.
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.
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 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 4: Your children are too young to floss.
It is never too early for children to begin flossing. In fact, the earlier they begin, the more likely they are to develop and maintain good oral health care routines throughout their lives. If they are having difficulty flossing on their own, try to encourage and assist them. You can do it for your child if they are under the age of ten.
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 bleed your gums. If your gums are constantly bleeding, this could be a sign of gingivitis or gum disease, so discuss your concerns with your dentist.