Myths, Facts, and Best Practices for Flossing

By Glossy Magazine

Myths, Facts, and Best Practices for Flossing

Myths, Facts, and Best Practices for Flossing

Myths, Facts, and Best Practices for Flossing

“Remember to floss!” is something that surely all of us hear whenever we are leaving our dentist. And still, flossing is something that is still heavily overlooked when it comes to daily dental routines, even though it does play a crucial role in maintaining optimal oral health. The National Smile Month states that oral health has never been better than it currently is – and yet, a good quarter of adults don’t brush their teeth twice a day, and 33% have never flossed or cleaned interdentally to begin with. That’s a lot!

Best Flossing Practices

There are various types of dental floss available – including waxed or unwaxed, flavoured, tape, or even more sustainable electric water flossers. Experiment to find the one that suits your preferences and makes flossing as comfortable and effective for you. Remember that technique matters; you want a gentle back-and-forth motion and fresh floss for each tooth to avoid transferring bacteria. And avoid snapping it into your gums! But most importantly, work toward making it a habit. As with so many things, consistency is key to reaping the full benefits of it and maintaining optimal oral hygiene.

5 Myths and Their Actual Truths

And yet, it’s shrouded in myths and misinformation that can lead to confusion. So, let’s untangle some of them and explore the best practices for ensuring that your smiles stay bright and healthy.

Myth 1: “Flossing Isn’t Necessary if You Brush Properly.”

While brushing is essential, it really only cleans the surfaces of your teeth. Flossing, however, removes plaque and food particles from between the teeth and along the gumline, where your toothbrush simply can’t reach – no matter how thorough you are. Without flossing, these areas quickly become breeding grounds for bacteria, leading to cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.

Myth 2: “Flossing Causes Gaps Between Your Teeth.”

It doesn’t! In fact, it does the exact opposite. Flossing helps prevent gaps between your teeth by removing plaque and debris that can lead to the aforementioned decay and gum disease. By flossing properly, and using a gentle sawing motion, you shouldn’t widen gaps but rather promote healthy teeth and gums.

Myth 3: “Flossing Once a Week is Sufficient Enough.”

It’s unfortunately not. Plaque begins to form within hours of having brushed your teeth and can harden into tartar in as little as 24 to 48 hours. Every single one of us has plaque – it’s something that naturally occurs. But without the proper hygiene, these bacteria will crystallise into that tartar crust, which can then only be removed with the help of a dentist. Thus, the recommendation is to floss at least once a day – ideally before bedtime.

Myth 4: “Flossing Is Painful and Causes Bleeding Gums.”

It is quite common for gums to bleed when you first start flossing or if you haven’t flossed in a while. This is usually a sign of inflammation caused by plaque and bacteria buildup. But don’t panic! With regular flossing, the bleeding should diminish as soon as your gums become healthier. If it, however, persists, consult your dentist to rule out any underlying issues.

Myth 5: “Flossing Isn’t Necessary for Young Children.”

Proper dental hygiene habits should form early – and that includes flossing. As a rule of thumb: as soon as two teeth touch, it’s time to start flossing between them. Of course, children may need assistance or supervision until they develop the dexterity to floss effectively on their own. Establishing these habits from a young age sets a fantastic foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles.