Dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once daily. However, for various reasons, lots of patients decide to skip flossing. In this blog, our London dental team explains why flossing is an important part of your oral hygiene routine and why it shouldn't be skipped.
Why Flossing is Important
Preventive oral hygiene consists of more than just attending regular 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 the 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 can make people skip this vital oral health care practice altogether.
Here, our dentists debunk a few of the myths being spread about flossing and explain why you should never skip this critical practice.
Myth: You only have to floss if there is food caught 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: If you wear braces you can't floss your teeth.
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 various alternative orthodontic treatment methods, like Invisalign clear aligners, that can be removed to make flossing and brushing easier.
Myth: Your kids are too young to floss.
The earlier children start flossing their 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: You should stop flossing if your gums start to bleed.
If your gums bleed during flossing, it's usually a sign you need to floss more often. The more you floss, the less likely your gums are to bleed. If your gums are bleeding continuously, even after regular flossing, then it could be a sign of another dental issue such as periodontal disease, so be sure to share any worries you have with your dentist.