People usually shy away from dropping by their dental clinic no matter how honest, professional and friendly their dentist is. Getting over that childhood fear of the dental drill (especially the sound), it seems, is one of life’s greatest mysterious anxieties.
But in the same way that you learn to accept that going to your dentist should be a fairly regular thing, or at least done twice a year, there are flossing myths you really need to get over. So if you haven’t flossed ever, it might be time to start flossing. And if you have been religiously flossing, or flossing from time to time, then this is your chance to find out if you are flossing right, or if you need to floss more or less.
Let’s take a look at some flossing myths and get the facts straight once and for all.
Table of Contents
Myth No. 1: No flossing for bleeding gums.
If you have bleeding gums, you may have neglected your oral health or are suffering from gingivitis. Either way, you need to make brushing and flossing part of your daily routine. If you follow your dentist’s advice and do something right away, you can still arrest the disease and improve your oral health.
Myth No. 2: Flossing does not benefit the gums and teeth.
There has been recent news that the claim that flossing helps prevent gum disease and the build-up of plaque does not really hold water. In short, there is no scientific evidence which conclusively establishes this.
However, flossing does benefit people with contacts (the space between teeth) that are too tight for interdental brushes to clean those areas efficiently. Flossing helps minimize the growth of dental cavities and helps prevent tooth loss. It also makes sure your gums are strong and prevents gum growths.
Myth No. 3: Flossing can be done freestyle
Just like there are different ways of brushing your teeth depending on your objective, flossing requires you follow certain techniques to maximize the benefits. Flossing requires that you do it consciously and with purpose; otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your gums and teeth.
Irresponsibly flossing can damage your Sharpey’s fibers. These are tiny ligaments that keep your teeth firmly attached to the tooth-bearing bone of the jaw.
Flossing hard and incorrectly can also cause bad bacteria to become more deeply embedded into your gum tissue. What’s more, flossing incorrectly can spread bad bacteria around your teeth. If you need help with learning how to properly floss – speak to your dentist should be able to assist you well. Of course, there’s also YouTube.
Myth No. 4: Use only waxed floss.
There are flossing material options you can choose from: water picks, flossing sticks and flavored floss or any type of flossing material that will do the job would certainly work. Reaping the maximum benefits of flossing depends more on the method you employ rather than just on the material or equipment being used.
However, waxed floss IS one of the better options along with water picks / water flossers.
Myth No. 5: Flossing can be done on and off.
You can do this on and off strategy well if it means every other day－which is already sufficient for oral health. On the other hand, irregular flossing can lead to the proliferation of bad oral bacteria, thereby exacerbating bleeding gums or gingivitis.
Flossing daily or every other day helps ensure there is a good balance of healthy oral flora in your mouth which, in turn, are vital to your total well-being. By reaching hard to reach areas in between teeth, flossing helps remove trapped food particles and ensures tight contacts are clean.
Whether you belong to the pro-flossing or anti-flossing camp, an undeniable fact about flossing is that it helps clean the teeth. In doing so, flossing also aids in protecting the gums from getting damaged and thereby becoming repositories for plaque and bad bacteria.
If flossing has never been part of your daily habit, then you may want to start integrating it into your oral healthcare now. You only need to do it at least once a every few days to reap all the benefits (though every day is ideal).