The Canadian Dental Association encourages everyone to floss daily to maintain a healthy and clean mouth. Although, many Canadians ignore the benefits of flossing and forgo the habit altogether. Here are the facts about flossing and the truth about common flossing myths.
Myth: Flossing is difficult
Flossing is easier today than it ever was. If you do not like to floss the traditional way with a long string of it, you could use a floss holder instead. It is a Y-shaped instrument with a small portion of floss between two prongs. Many people find it easier to use a floss holder since they only need one hand to use it. It also makes it easier to reach teeth further in the back of your mouth.
Myth: You only need to floss if there is food between your teeth
The only reason to floss is not just to remove food stuck between teeth. Flossing also breaks up dental plaque between teeth. Plaque left between teeth can result in inflamed gums and lead to decaying teeth, gum disease, and tooth loss. That is why you should floss every day and not only when you get food stuck between your teeth.
Myth: Stop flossing if your gums bleed
Seeing blood when you first start flossing can be alarming, but it is entirely normal. Some people bleed when they floss because they are too rough about it. Try to be gentle about it and see if that reduces the amount of blood you see. You can also ask your dentist about flossing techniques to ensure you are doing it correctly. Bleeding gums is also a sign of gum disease so try and see whether your gum line is inflamed.
Myth: Flossing is painful
If you have a healthy mouth and use the correct type of floss, you should be able to floss without pain. It can be painful at first or for people with gum disease, but the more you do it, the less painful it will be. Your dentist can help come up with a technique that will make flossing less painful for you.
Myth: Flossing worsens receding gums
Flossing can actually prevent receding gums since it cleans bacteria and food particles out from under the gum line. That means people with hereditary receding gums and gingivitis should be especially proactive about flossing. If your gums are already receding, flossing can help prevent it from getting worse.
Myth: My teeth are too tight to floss
There are numerous types of floss out there that can get between even the tightest of teeth. Or, you can adjust your technique by making a seesaw motion to help manoeuvre the floss between your teeth. There are flosses coated with substances that make them more slippery and ones that are thinner for people with tight teeth.
With these myths debunked, you have no excuses now not to floss. If you fear your mouth is experiencing the drawbacks of not flossing, contact Slipacoff Dental to book an appointment. We are a family dentist in Sarnia that has a team of professionals backed by years of experience.