3 Flossing Misconceptions to Help You Avoid a Flossing Fail
A healthy smile starts with proper brushing and routine checkups by your dentist. However, flossing is also important. Proper flossing removes food and bacteria from in between the teeth and from the gum tissue. While a simple task, flossing can protect your smile from periodontal disease, infections, pain, and tooth loss. Unfortunately, most people do not understand the flossing process and its benefits. This guide will help you learn the truth behind a few common flossing misconceptions.
Floss Each Time You Brush
You most likely already know how and when to brush your teeth, but you may not realize when and how to floss. In the past, experts recommended flossing each time you brush your teeth, so after every meal. However, this is not actually necessary.
Today, the American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once per day. The time of the day is not actually important, but flossing can be most beneficial after brushing before bed. This ensures food, bacteria, and plaque are not lingering on the teeth and gum tissue for the long period of time while you are sleeping.
Your Dentist Can't Tell
Another common misconception people have is that dentists ask if you are flossing for a reason. Unfortunately, this is also not true, since your dentist already knows the answer to this question.
Without proper flossing, your dentist will see actual food residue and hard plaque between the teeth and on the actual gum tissue. If you are showing any signs of gum disease, such as redness, swelling, and light bleeding, your dentist will know you have not been flossing sufficiently enough to remove food and plaque from the tissue.
Bleeding Is a Sign You're Flossing Right
If you are like most people, you may think the bleeding is a sign that you are flossing the right way. Again, this is a myth that should be addressed even though the truth is rather complicated. The sight of blood is always a cause for concern, and it should be taken seriously if it is seen while flossing, but you should also realize some light bleeding while flossing is quite normal.
Your gums will be irritated while moving the flossing string or flosser tool over the tissue. This causes some swelling and bleeding, which should subside after rinsing your mouth out.
If you are noticing a heavier amount of blood or the bleeding does not stop after you have finished flossing and rinsing, there may be a more serious issue to address, and you should visit a dental clinic to find out more.
Severe swelling, redness, inflammation, and bleeding while making contact with the teeth and gums, whether through brushing or flossing, is a surefire sign of gum disease. Diagnosing gum disease early is essential for reversing and treating the condition.