Top 10 Flossing Myths

Every six months, you visit the dentist and hear the same flossing spiel. Flossing is important, it hurts because you don’t floss regularly, turn flossing into a regular habit, all that stuff. But really, how necessary is flossing?

Despite all of the skepticism regarding flossing, it is actually very important to include it in your daily routine. Flossing helps promote and maintain good gum health, removing bacteria that get stuck between your gums and teeth. 

There are many myths regarding flossing, and here are ten flossing myths that you need to stop believing. 

Myth #1: You only need to floss when you have food stuck between your teeth. 

Flossing to remove food stuck in your teeth is a quick fix to an annoying problem, but despite many beliefs, you shouldn’t just floss when there is food stuck in your teeth.

There are bacteria that get stuck between your teeth and gums that brushing can’t remove. 

Plaque bacteria build up between your teeth even if you can’t feel them, and removing this bacteria is important to prevent gum disease, cavities, and bad breath. 

Myth #2: You can use mouthwash instead of floss. 

While mouthwash is important to incorporate into your routine, like brushing your teeth it can’t remove the plaque and bacteria that builds up between your teeth, and therefore shouldn’t be used as a replacement for flossing. 

Myth #3: You can’t floss if you have braces. 

Braces are a pain for many reasons, but it is actually not something that prevents your ability to floss.

In fact, it is more important to floss when you have braces because your gums are more likely to become inflamed. It is important to floss in order to keep them clean. 

Myth #4: Children are too young to floss. 

On the other hand, the earlier your child starts flossing, the more likely they are to develop routines and good oral health care that they will carry into adulthood. If they are younger than ten years old, you can help them floss or floss for them. 

Myth #5: Flossing is bad because it makes your gums bleed. 

If your gums bleed after flossing, it is actually a sign that you need to floss more because this indicates that your gums are not used to it. The more you floss, the stronger your gums become and the less they bleed.

However, if you floss regularly and your gums continue to bleed, you should follow up with your dentist. 

Myth #6: Flossing isn’t necessary if you brush your teeth regularly. 

While you should brush your teeth regularly, again it doesn’t remove the bacteria and plaque that builds up between your gums and teeth. So, flossing regularly is an important addition to brushing your teeth. 

Myth #7: Flossing requires too much effort. 

Flossing can feel a bit tedious, but if you do it regularly and correctly it doesn’t need to take a lot of effort. If long strands of floss are too much for you, there are other options like single-use flossers and floss holders that facilitate flossing.

Water picks can often work as well, but you should consult your dentist before replacing floss with a water pick. 

Myth #8: Your dentist can’t tell if you skip flossing. 

Actually, your dentist can very much tell if you skip flossing, despite what you may say.

They can tell from plaque that gets left between your teeth over time, and this tartar must be removed professionally, meaning you won’t be able to get rid of it without visiting a dentist for a cleaning. 

Myth #9: Flossing can create spaces between your teeth. 

Any spaces that may appear after flossing are actually a result of cleaning areas that were previously obstructed by plaque or particles. When you floss, you get rid of this plaque, which may give the illusion of spaces or gaps left there. 

On the contrary, not flossing regularly can lead to gum irritation that can cause gum tissue to recede, which will create visible gaps and spaces. 

Myth #10: You need to floss every time you brush your teeth. 

While flossing every time you brush your teeth is a good move, it is not necessary.

You should floss once or twice a day, and while some people choose to floss after every meal or every time they brush their teeth, you can floss whenever it is convenient for you.

As long as you floss a few times a day, it doesn’t matter when you floss. 


Flossing can be annoying, but despite many of the myths that revolve around it, it is an important practice to incorporate into your daily routine. 

These ten myths are common things that people hear about flossing, which can deter you from flossing every day, but as you’ve learned in this article, they are just myths. 

So, as your dentist says, make sure to floss!

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