From the time we are toddlers we are taught how to brush our teeth. Although most of us brush regularly, many of us forget to floss. If you think that brushing alone is enough (which wouldn’t be surprising, given recent media reports), consider this – your toothbrush only covers the front and back surfaces of your teeth. That’s like washing the outside of the window and leaving the inside dirty – you still won’t be able to see the outside. We’ve talked about the importance of flossing before and just like anything that is important…we’re doing it again!
While some people may argue that using an automatic toothbrush means you don’t need to floss, that is not exactly true. Flossing can reach small spaces that even your automatic toothbrush can miss. So what are the myths?
3 Common Myths About Flossing
Want to learn more about picking the best dental floss for you? We offer our dental floss tips here!
Flossing is painful
Flossing shouldn’t be painful, and when it is, it may be an indication that you have gum disease. If you have painful, tender, or bleeding gums consult with your dentist to see what your next steps should be – often, it means you should floss more often. Usually in a few weeks it should start to feel better, and any bleeding will come to an end.
Flossing is too hard
Flossing can be frustrating at first, which causes a lot of people to throw their floss into the trash bin. But with a few simple steps you can master the art of flossing and improve your dental hygiene. If you follow these easy steps you will be flossing like a master in no time.
- Don’t use too much; a piece of floss around 18 inches long is all you need to use a clean segment for each space.
- Wrapping the floss around your index or middle finger is preferable, you will want to put a small amount of floss in the other hand.
- Gently slide the floss between your teeth in a zigzag pattern (from side to side), you need to be cautious and not break the floss between your teeth.
- Form a C shape that wraps around your tooth, then slowly pull the floss up towards the gum line to the top of the tooth.
- Each time you move to a new section unroll the floss so it is fresh by moving the used floss to a finger on the other hand.
- Make sure you floss both the front and back sides of the tooth.
It may take a few weeks to get into the flossing habit, but after that it will become second nature to you. And if you really can’t seem to get it down you can purchase Y-shaped flossers that are disposable to make it easier. Regardless of which way you do it, it’s very important that you floss regularly.
Many people skip flossing because they think it’s too time-consuming. But it shouldn’t take more than five minutes of your day when done correctly – and you only have to do it once per day, after all. Once you have your technique down it can take even less time. By spending five minutes a day on this you can avoid spending hours at the dentist dealing with a tooth or gum issue.
Why Flossing Matters
Flossing is as important as brushing to help reduce the chance of you ending up with gum-related diseases, which can often be uncomfortable and unpleasant. It can also help reduce halitosis by removing particles that your toothbrush cannot reach.
While there are some that say flossing is not necessary, it is always better to err on the side of caution. And really if the worst thing that happens is you have cleaner teeth, that’s not bad. So if you want a healthy, clean mouth, add flossing to your daily routine. Your mouth will thank you for it. If you have any questions about flossing, be sure to ask your dentist!