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Flossing: Is it Really Necessary?

Our dentists in Etobicoke recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss once daily. However, some patients opt out of flossing for a variety of reasons. In this section, we'll discuss why flossing is critical and why you should avoid skipping it.

The Importance of Flossing

Preventive oral hygiene is more than attending regular dental exams and cleanings. It also means practicing daily oral health routines at home, like brushing and flossing regularly.

Flossing once a day is the most effective method of cleaning the spaces between the teeth and beneath the gum line. It assists in cleaning these spaces and preventing plaque buildup, which helps prevent 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.

Here, our dentists debunk some of the myths about flossing and explain why you should never skip this important practice.

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

Brushing does not remove bacteria from between the teeth, and thus cleans only a portion of the tooth surface. Even if you do not feel or see anything stuck between your teeth, plaque accumulates between them and can only be removed with flossing to prevent cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.

Myth: You can use mouthwash instead of floss.

As with brushing, mouthwash is ineffective at removing plaque between the teeth. While mouthwash can be a beneficial addition to your oral health regimen, it should never be used in place of 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 sooner children begin flossing their teeth, the more likely they will continue to practise good oral health care habits into adulthood. If they are having difficulty flossing on their own, try encouraging them and assisting them along the way. You can floss for your child if they are under the age of ten.

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

If your gums bleed while flossing, this is typically a sign that you should floss more frequently. The more flossing you do, the less likely your gums will bleed. If your gums continue to bleed even after regular flossing, this could be a sign of another dental problem, such as periodontal disease, so be sure to discuss any concerns with your dentist.

To learn more about flossing, or to schedule an exam and cleaning, contact Cloverdale Dental Group to schedule an appointment with one of our Etobicoke dentists.

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