Brushing your teeth at least two times per day and flossing once a day is the cornerstone of good dental hygiene. Our Windsor dentists are here to tell you how important flossing really is.
Is Flossing Really That Important?
Maintaining your oral hygiene takes more than just going to dental exams and cleanings. Practicing daily oral health routines at home, like brushing and flossing regularly is a key factor when it comes to preventing oral health issues.
If you don't floss every day, you won't be able to properly clean between your teeth and under the gum line. Flossing not only helps to clean these spaces, it prevents plaque from building up and developing into more serous conditions 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.
The Myths About Flossing
Here are a number of misconceptions regarding flossing that our Windsor dentists would like to clear up.
1. You only need to floss if you have food stuck in your teeth.
Brushing doesn't remove bacteria in between the 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.
2. You can use mouthwash instead of floss.
Just like brushing with a toothbrush, your mouth wash won't remove plaque from 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.
3. 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.
4. Your children are too young to floss.
Starting good oral hygiene practices early is important for children. The sooner they start flossing, the more likely they will be to maintain good oral health care routines into 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.
5. Your gums bleed when you floss, so you should stop.
If your gums bleed when you floss your teeth, this is often the first sign that you need to floss more. The more you floss, the less your gums are likely to bleed. If your gums are bleeding continually, even though you floss regularly, then it could be a sign of another dental issue such as periodontal disease, so be sure to share any concerns with your dentist.