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Flossing: is it really necessary?

Our Riverdale Toronto dentists always recommend that you brush your teeth twice each day and floss your teeth once each day. However, some patients choose to skip flossing for a number of reasons. Here, we explain why flossing is so 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.

Flossing once each day is one of the best ways to clean between your teeth and beneath your gum line. It helps to clean these spaces and prevent plaque from building up and causing problems like bad breath, gum disease or cavities. 

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 your teeth doesn't remove any bacteria from between your teeth, so only part of your tooth's surface is getting cleaned. Even if your don't feel ot see something stuck between your teeth, there is plaque building up in there that only flossing can remove in order to prevent a whole host of health issues. 

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 sooner your child starts flossing their teeth, the more likely they will be to maintain their good oral health care routine into their sulthood. If it is difficult for them to floss their teeth on their own, you should encourage them and give them as much help as they need. If your child is younger than 10, you can floss their teeth for them to help to keep their mouth clean and plaque-free.

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

If your gums bleed while you are flossing your teeth, this is usually a sign that you need to floss more often. The more you floss, the less your gums are likely to bleed because of it. If your gums are bleeding even after starting a regular routine of flossing, then it may be a sign of another dental health issues such as gum disease. Make sure you share concerns about this with your dentist. 

In order to learn more about flossing and to schedule your next oral exam and professional cleanings, contact Riverdale Dental to schedule an appointment with one of our Riverdale Toronto Dentists.

(647) 352-7330