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Flossing: is it really necessary?

You may brush your teeth daily and think, 'Well isn't that enough'? Unfortunately, it isn't. Our Etobicoke dentists talk about the importance of flossing and offer some of the most common myths about flossing.

Why is flossing so important?

Preventive oral hygiene is more than attending regular dental exams and cleanings. You should also be painting a rigorous at-home oral hygiene routine as well.

Flossing once a day is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gum line. This can help clear away the debris that can become trapped in between your teeth and help prevent serious dental concerns such as gum disease from occurring.

Unfortunately, there are a number of myths that have been passed around which can cause patients to skip flossing altogether.

Here, our dentists debunk some of the myths about flossing and explain why you shouldn't ever skip it!

Myth: Flossing is only necessary if you see food in your teeth.

Brushing only clears away bacteria and debris on the exterior of the teeth. You can't reach the areas between your teeth by brushing alone. 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 do the same thing as flossing.

Just as we said with brushing, you won't be able to use mouthwash expecting it to do what flossing can do. 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 then you can't and shouldn't floss.

While flossing can be a unique experience if you have traditional metal braces, it is not impossible. These days there are even flossing tools that are made specifically for use with braces. 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: Flossing doesn't need to happen until your children are older.

Starting your kids early with flossing can help set them up with healthy dental habits for life. 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: Flossing makes your gums bleed so you shouldn't do it.

While we may think that bleeding gums while flossing might be caused by the floss, it is actually a sign that you need to floss more often. If you notice that 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.

If you would like to have a dental examination, contact Bloor Kipling Dentistry to request an appointment.

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