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Flossing: is it really necessary?

Our Sault Ste. Marie dentists recommend you brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss once a day. But some patients choose to skip flossing for a number of reasons. Here, we explain why flossing is important 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.

The best way to clean in between teeth and under the gum line is to floss once a day. Cleaning these areas and preventing plaque buildup can help to avoid problems like 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.

Only a portion of the tooth surface is cleaned because brushing doesn't get rid of bacteria in the spaces between the teeth. Even if you don't notice or feel anything between your teeth, plaque is still accumulating and can only be removed by flossing to guard against problems like cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.

Myth: You can use mouthwash instead of floss.

Mouthwash, like brushing, is ineffective at removing plaque from between your teeth. While mouthwash can be a useful addition to your oral hygiene regimen, it should never take the 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 earlier children begin flossing their teeth, the more likely it is that they will continue with good oral hygiene practices as adults. If they have trouble flossing on their own, try motivating and assisting them along the way. You can floss for your child if they are younger than ten years old.

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

When flossing, if your gums bleed, you probably need to floss more frequently. Your gums are less likely to bleed as you floss more frequently. Be sure to discuss any worries with your dentist if your gums bleed continuously even after routine flossing because this could be an indication of periodontal disease or another dental problem.

To learn more about flossing, or to schedule an exam and cleaning, contact Bay Dental Group to schedule an appointment with one of our Sault Ste. Marie Dentists.

New Patients Always Welcome

Looking for a dentist in Sault Ste. Marie? We're happily welcoming new patients at our dental clinic! Contact us to get started today. 

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