We recommend brushing your teeth two times a day and flossing once daily. However, for a variety of reasons, patients often skip flossing. In this blog, our Ajax dentists explain why it's important to floss your teeth every day.
Why Flossing is Important
Preventive oral hygiene involves more than just attending routine dental exams and cleanings at your dentist's office. It also means practicing daily oral health routines at home, like brushing and flossing regularly.
Flossing once a day is the best way to clean between your teeth and under the gum line. 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 encourage people to skip this essential 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 have to floss when there is 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.
Myth: Mouthwash can be used instead of floss.
Like brushing, mouthwash doesn't remove 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 can't floss when you have 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. Nowadays, there are also alternative options for orthodontic treatment, such as Invisalign clear aligners, which can be removed to make the brushing and flossing process easier.
Myth: Your children aren't old enough to floss.
The earlier kids start flossing teeth, 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.
Myth: Your gums bleed when you floss, so you should stop.
If your gums bleed during flossing, 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.