Flossing is one of those very important and simple things we can do for our health. However, most people don’t do it enough. Maybe you floss for a couple of days leading up to your dental appointment but then quickly fall out of the habit? You are not alone. Most people brush their teeth every day but many forget to floss. Here are some tips to increase your flossing and improve your oral health.
You might floss when you feel food caught between your teeth but otherwise may not think of it. If you floss and don’t see anything being removed, it is not very motivating. While removing food particles is an important benefit of flossing, the most beneficial part is disrupting the bacteria that form between our teeth. Your toothbrush simply can’t reach into all areas. If left behind, the bacteria can cause cavities and gum disease. There will always be bacteria multiplying and growing, requiring daily care to keep the bacteria levels under control.
If you have never been a regular flosser, you might want to start with a small, achievable goal of starting to floss once a week. Gradually increase the frequency until you are flossing daily.
If you keep your floss hidden away in the cupboard, chances are it will stay there. Try to keep floss in multiple places such as the bedside table, purse, car, bathroom, etc. While flossing before bed is ideal, if you can fit it in anytime during the day you will still reap the health benefits. While you are still developing the flossing habit, a post-it note with a “remember to floss” message stuck near your toothbrush will be a good reminder.
There are lots of options on the market to choose from. Flavored or unflavored, waxed or unwaxed: there is something for everyone. Many people prefer floss piks since they convenient, easy to use and you can use them with one hand. If you have very tight teeth, you may like a more slippery floss like Glide. Once you find floss that you like, you will be more inclined to use it every day.
Once you have started flossing daily, you can feel good about improving your oral and overall health. Those with good oral hygiene usually don’t require extensive (and expensive) dental procedures, while their dental cleaning appointments become less intensive and pain-free. You can feel good about your fresh breath and smile confidently without worrying about red, bleeding gums, and tooth decay. If you are meeting your oral health goals, treat yourself to something you enjoy. A spa treatment, or maybe even a fancy new electric toothbrush, you deserve it!
Bleeding gums while flossing is common at first and is a sign of inflammation. The more you keep flossing, the less bleeding you will see and soon enough you will not have any bleeding or discomfort while flossing. If you have difficulty with flossing, your dental professional will be more than happy to practice your flossing technique with you. Set a goal and stick to it and eventually, you may even begin to enjoy your time flossing!