When was the last time you flossed? For many of the patients, the answer is not very recently. We wonder why that is on occasion. Most of our patients remember to brush their teeth in the evening (and hopefully in the morning as well). But many of them don’t floss.

We believe this to be because of some of the misinformation surrounding flossing, specifically a few common myths. In today’s post from the ongoing dental blog of Bayou Dental Group in Monroe, LA, we want to address some of these myths.

Myth #1: Floss is For Removing Food Stuck In Your Teeth

You’re enjoying a nice steak dinner, when a bit of fat gets stuck in your teeth. It’s not only annoying, it can actually be a little painful as well. If you’re at home you may grab your dusty box of floss, if you’re at a restaurant you go for a toothpick.

That’s what floss if for right? It’s definitely great at removing food from your teeth. It’s also a lot safer to use than a toothpick. Toothpicks can break apart in your mouth, and scrape your gums.

But floss is for far more than removing food from your teeth. Bacteria gathers on your teeth as you chew. A lot of this sneaks up in between your teeth, where it hardens into acidic plaque. This plaque causes decay and cavities. Flossing is ideal from removing this plaque, as it can help scrape it off.

Myth #2: It’s Normal to Bleed With You Floss

If you were brushing your hair, and then your scalp started to bleed, how would you react? You’d probably freak out right? That would clearly be a sign that something was wrong with your scalp.

But what happens when you floss? Do your gums bleed? If they do, that’s not a good thing; it should be considered the furthest thing from a natural reaction to flossing. You should take it as a warning sign to change whatever it is that you’re going.

This often means just using less force when you floss. Don’t saw away at your teeth, it hurts and it’s ineffective. On other occasions, this may be an early indication of gum disease.

But if you’re flossing for the first-time in a long time, you’re gums may bleed. This bleeding should stop after a few days of regularly using floss. If you’re gums continue to bleed, you should get checked for gum disease.

Myth #3: Flossing Should Be Done In the Evening

This isn’t really a myth. It’s great to floss in the evening, after you finish brushing or even before you brush. But flossing in the morning is also a great option. There’s not really a bad time to floss; it’s just important that you floss.

You should make a habit of flossing once a day. You can do it with your kids to show them the proper technique; this is often helpful for remembering to do it in the evening. If you forget, your child can remind you. If your child forgets, you can remind your child.

Make An Appointment

Even with the best flossing habits, you may still experience tooth decay. Stubborn deposits of dental tartar and plaque cannot be removed by brushing and flossing alone. But a thorough teeth cleaning at our office can help prevent tooth decay.

We recommend brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and having your teeth cleaned at our office twice a year. Click here to make an appointment at Bayou Dental Group in Monroe, LA.