Flossing is something we are advised to do daily as part of our regular oral hygiene routine, but how often are you taking the time to do it? There are many myths surrounding flossing that can sometimes discourage you from wanting to do it. At Tilghman Orthodontics, we strive to be the best orthodontist to help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile you can be proud of. That means also ensuring you’re armed with the right information regarding good oral hygiene. Read on to learn more about what is flossing myth vs. fact and how you can better care for your smile.
Myth: Bleeding Gums Mean You’re Flossing Too Much
It’s often the very opposite. If your gums aren’t used to it, flossing may irritate sensitive or inflamed gums the first few times you floss. Inflammation and sensitivity are also early signs of gum disease – something which flossing can help prevent.
Fact: Brushing Only Cleans 3 of 5 Tooth Surfaces
When you brush your teeth, you’re only brushing the areas the brush can reach – meaning the sides of your teeth facing one another don’t see much action. That’s why flossing is so important, it helps clean the areas that brushing can’t reach and where gum disease can flourish if not addressed.
Myth: Instead of Flossing You Can Just Use Mouthwash
Mouthwash has made many advancements over the years, but it’s still not an adequate substitute for brushing or flossing. While some mouthwashes can help prevent gingivitis, reduce plaque, and fight bad breath, it just doesn’t have the full cleaning ability that brushing and flossing provide.
Fact: Flossing Helps Prevent Cavities and Bad Breath
Since brushing can’t reach the spaces between teeth, those crevices become good hiding places for food particles and germs, which can lead to plaque buildup, cavities, and bad breath. Flossing helps remove plaque and particles between your teeth, reducing bacteria and helping freshen your breath.
Myth: Flossing is Only Necessary When Food is Stuck in Your Teeth
One of the most pervasive myths is that flossing is only necessary when you have food stuck in your teeth. The truth is, you’ll always have food particles stuck between your teeth after eating, most of the time they are just too small to notice. Flossing helps remove these particles and reduces the chance of developing cavities and gum disease.
Fact: You Should Be Using 18” to 20” of Floss Each Time
To both properly grip your floss and ensure you are using clean sections between each tooth, you should be using somewhere between 18 to 20 inches of floss every time. Luckily, dental floss is relatively inexpensive – especially compared to the cost of dental procedures to correct the damage done by poor oral health!
Myth: It’s Not Possible to Floss with Braces
On the contrary, flossing is just as possible and becomes even more important when wearing braces. Braces give food particles even more crevices to hide in, so very close attention to your oral hygiene is important during this time.
Fact: Flossing Tools Make Flossing with Braces Easier
Several flossing tools can assist in making flossing with braces easier. Floss threaders and dental picks are excellent tools to help clean around brackets and wires to ensure a healthy gum line and smile.
Trust Your Teeth to the Best Orthodontist in Your Area
Your smile is often one of the first things others notice about you, so don’t trust the health of your teeth to just anyone! For Drs. Tilghman and Schwartz, orthodontics is a true passion, and our friendly, knowledgeable staff work hard to not only provide the best quality care but also help teach you how to take care of your teeth so that you can enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles. Contact us to learn more about our available services and to make your appointment today.