We know it can be difficult to get in the habit of flossing regularly. After all, your mouth can feel pretty fresh after just brushing, enough to fool you into thinking it’s totally clean and safe from tooth decay or gum disease. But flossing regularly is the only way to make sure you actually clean your teeth completely. Here are a few misconceptions we want to dispel to help motivate your flossing habits!
1. It’s Only About Removing Food
We know there are some people out there who only whip out the floss after eating popcorn or corn on the cob. Of course floss is great for removing the remnants of rogue kernels, but it’s not just large obvious bits of food you have to worry about. Floss also helps remove plaque that accumulates between your teeth, creating the risk for cavities even if you don’t have food stuck there. If you floss regularly, you already know how surprising it is the amount of stuff you can clean out from between your teeth even if you didn’t sink them into anything particularly messy that day.
2. There’s No Point in Starting Now
There are plenty of adults who have yet to make a solid habit of flossing. In many cases, these adults still have all their teeth and haven’t had any problems with interproximal caries (tooth decay that happens between your teeth). But just because someone has gotten this far without feeling the need to floss doesn’t mean they shouldn’t start! For one thing, the early signs of dental disease such as gum disease (periodontitis) don’t have obvious symptoms. Bleeding gums is one of the first signs you may be developing gum disease, but even if you teeth don’t bleed when you brush that doesn’t mean you’re not at risk. Start flossing now and you still may have all your own teeth for the rest of your life!
3. A Little Bleeding Is Normal
This is a choice of words problem: Many people hear that your gums bleeding when you floss is common, and misunderstand that fact to mean that it’s normal. Yes, many people see blood when they floss, but no, it’s not normal. No matter what, that spot of red is telling you something about your oral health, specifically the health of your gums. If this is a problem you encounter every time you floss, talk to us about it so we can assess the issue and have a plan for preserving your health.