Our dentists in Tecumseh recommend that you brush your teeth at least two times a day, and floss once per day. However, some patients decide to skip flossing. Today, we explain why flossing is important and why you should not avoid it.
Why It's Important to Floss
To keep up with preventive oral hygiene, we must do more than come to regular dental exams and cleanings. Our daily at-home oral healthcare routine should include brushing and flossing, both of which are integral to our health.
The best way to clean between your teeth and under the gumline is to floss once every day. This helps to clean these spaces, and keep plaque from building up. Flossing also prevents issues such as bad breath, gum disease and cavities.
Many myths abound about flossing, and this can keep people from engaging in this vital oral healthcare practice.
Today, our dentists will debunk some myths about flossing and explain why you should not skip this important task.
Myth: 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.
Myth: You can use mouthwash 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 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.
Myth: Your children are too young 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.