To floss or not to floss? That is the question. Unlike Hamlet’s quandary, this one is easy to answer. Yes, you should floss! Unfortunately, a vast majority of the population does not floss regularly. Estimates are that between only two to five percent of people floss every day. There are all kinds of excuses not to floss. The truth of the matter is nearly everyone can benefit from this simple two-minute oral hygiene practice. Read on to learn what a dentist Washington has to say about the myths surrounding flossing.
Myth: I Don’t Know How to Floss
First, your dentist or hygienist will be happy to show you how to floss the old-fashioned way. But you don’t have to struggle with that long piece of floss. Today, there are floss holders that suspend a small piece between two prongs. You can even use one hand to floss with these convenient holders.
Myth: Flossing Hurts
If done correctly in a healthy mouth, then flossing should not hurt at all. If you have gum disease, then flossing may be uncomfortable to start. But with continued flossing, the practice becomes less painful.
Myth: Don’t Floss if Your Gums Bleed
The exact opposite is true—if your gums bleed, then you should continue to floss. Bleeding gums may a sign of gum disease. Do your gums look inflamed and swollen, too? If so, schedule a dental checkup.
Seeing a little blood occasionally may only mean that you’re flossing too aggressively. Be gentler, and see if that helps.
Myth: Flossing Makes Gum Recession Worse
Once again, the opposite is true. Flossing may, in fact, prevent gums from receding, because it clears away bacteria and trapped particles of food from along the gum line. If you already have gum recession, then daily flossing can help you avoid further damage, but don’t be aggressive. Use a soft touch on delicate gum tissue.
Myth: I Can’t Floss Because I Have Braces
True, having metal brackets and wires on your teeth does make flossing more challenging and a bit more time consuming. However, it still needs to be done. Think of how much food and bacteria might be trapped on and around your teeth if you don’t floss! A dentist in Washington can show you some tricks to making flossing around your braces easier.
Myth: Flossing Can Make a Filling Fall Out
If your fillings are in good condition, then flossing will not harm them. However, a loose or fractured filling may be more likely to fall out when you floss, but those need to be replaced anyway. Similarly, flossing will not affect dental crowns either.
Now that you know the facts about flossing, there’s no reason not to include this practice in your daily oral hygiene routine. If you have questions, or if your gums bleed when you floss, then call a dentist in Washingtonto schedule a checkup.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. James Mace is a dentist in Washington, MO. He and his staff are dedicated to providing all of the services you need to have a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile. The next time you’re in the office, be sure to ask about how to properly floss. If you need to schedule a dental checkup or another service, contact us today.