5 Common Myths About Flossing

Our dentists recommend that our patients brush their teeth at least twice per day and floss at least once each day. There are many myths about flossing that here, our Saskatoon dentists will clear up for our patients.

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 each day is a very effective means of cleaning between the teeth and below the gum line. Flossing will not only help to clean these spaces, but will also help to prevent plaque from building up in order to avoid long-term damage to teeth and gums.

There are many myths about flossing, which can cause people to skip this vital oral health care practice altogether. Here our Saskatoon dentists debunk 5 of these common myths and explain why you should never skip flossing between your teeth.

Myth 1: You only need to floss when you have food stuck in your teeth.

When done on its own, brushing won't remove bacteria and plaque from between teeth. This means that 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 may be plaque building up that can only be removed through flossing to prevent issues like bad breath, cavities and gum disease.

Myth 2: You can use mouthwash instead of floss.

Like with brushing, mouthwash won't remove the plaque between your teeth. While mouthwash may be an effective addition to your oral healthcare routine, it shouldn't be considered to be a replacement for 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 build-up 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's never too early for your kid to start having their teeth flossed. The earlier your child starts, the more likely it is for them to develop and maintain flossing as a lifelong habit into their adulthood. If your child is finding it difficult to floss on their own, you can encourage them and teach them how to best floss their teeth. If your kid is younger than 10 years old, you can floss their teeth for them.

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

If your gums bleed, this is usually a sign that you need to floss more often, not less. Your gums could be bleeding simply because they’re not used to being flossed. The more you floss, the less your gums will bleed. If your gums are bleeding continually, then it could be a sign of gingivitis or gum disease, so be sure to share any concerns with your dentist.

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

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