We’ve all been told that flossing is an essential part of your oral hygiene routine…and, as it turns out, it also impacts your overall health.
The main benefit of flossing is that it helps to prevent gum disease, which has been linked to all sorts of other serious health issues including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even dementia.
Yet, not even a third of people floss regularly and there is all sorts of fake news making the rounds about flossing. We asked dental experts from the Oral Hygienists Association of South Africa (OHASA) to help clear up five, common flossing fallacies:
- Myth: You don’t need to floss if you brush your teeth regularly.
Truth: Even if you brush your teeth well, it only removes around 50% of the plaque in your mouth. This is because teeth have five sides, and brushing can only clean three. Without manual removal, plaque and food debris remains trapped between the teeth and can build up into tartar.
- Myth: Flossing causes bleeding gums.
Truth: Although some people may experience a little bleeding when they first start to floss, it should clear up in a day or two. Bleeding gums are usually a sign of gum disease, which is the country’s second-biggest oral health issue, according to the South African Dental Association (SADA). If the bleeding persists, see your dentist.
- Myth: Flossing is only necessary for people with dental issues.
Truth: Everyone can benefit from flossing, regardless of their dental history. Try to brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, brush your tongue daily, and use a mouthwash.
- Myth: Flossing is unnecessary if your teeth are close together.
Truth: It’s important to clean between your teeth, even if you have tight contacts. Try using GUM Twisted Floss as it’s super thin, waxed and has two strands twisted together to provide a greater flossing surface, cleaning between teeth very well.
- Myth: Flossing takes too much time and isn’t worth the effort.
Truth: Flossing correctly only takes a couple of minutes each day and can help prevent gum disease, which can lead to various other, serious health problems.