We highly recommend flossing every day but, some people tend to skip it for various reasons. In this post, our Ottawa dentists explain the reasons why flossing is essential for your oral health and why you shouldn't skip it.
The Importance of Flossing
There is more to preventive oral hygiene than just seeing your dentist every six months for dental exams and cleanings. It also consists of maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine at home, which includes flossing and brushing reguglarily.
The best way to clean between your teeth and under your gum line is to floss once daily. It helps to clean these spaces, and prevent plaque from building up to prevent issues like 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.
Below our dentists debunk several myths that are going around flossing and explain the reasons why you shouldn't pass on this essential practice.
Myth: You only have to floss when there is food stuck in your teeth.
Brushing doesn't get rid of the bacteria that are between your teeth, so only a portion of the tooth surface is getting cleaned. Even if you don't feel or see 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: You can rinse with mouthwash instead of flossing.
Similar to brushing, mouthwash can't clean away the plaque between your teeth. While mouthwash can be an effective supplement to your oral health care routine, it should never be used as a replacement for flossing.
Myth: You shouldn't floss your teeth if you have braces.
It might be harder 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, which can be removed to make brushing and flossing easier.
Myth: Your kids aren't old enough to floss.
The sooner kids begin flossing their teeth, the more likely they will be to keep good oral health care habits in their adulthood. If it is difficult for them to floss on their own, try encouraging them and helping them along the way. If your child is under 10 years old, you can floss for them.
Myth: You should stop flossing your teeth when your gums bleed.
If your gums bleed when you floss, this is usually a sign you need to floss more often. The more you floss, the less your gums are likely to bleed. If your gums are bleeding continually, even after regular flossing, then it could be a sign of another dental issue such as periodontal disease, so be sure to share any concerns with your dentist.