When it comes to your oral health, flossing your teeth is as important as brushing. So, why do so many of us find reasons not to do it? Read on for an answer for every excuse…………
Excuse No. 1: Food doesn’t get stuck in my teeth.
We urge our patients to floss, not only to remove food from between your teeth but to get rid of plaque, the film of bacteria that forms daily between teeth and along your gum line. Flossing every day helps to prevent gum disease and tooth loss. If plaque is left behind, it hardens and becomes tartar, which can only be removed at a dental cleaning.
Excuse No. 2: I’m not sure I’m flossing correctly.
Flossing is “the most difficult personal grooming activity there is,” says Samuel B. Low, DDS, a professor at the University of Florida and past president of the American Academy of Periodontology. But it’s very important to learn. There are several steps to flossing correctly. Dr. Dersh or Fabi will be happy to go over the technique with you at your next visit.
Excuse No. 3: I have trouble reaching all the areas in my mouth.
There are several products available to help you with the hard to reach areas:
- disposable, plastic flossers
- small, round brushes
- pointed, rubber tips
- wooden or plastic pics
We have samples of many of these products, just ask at your next visit.
Excuse No. 4: I don’t have time to floss.
The best time to floss your teeth is at the end of the day after you are finished eating. Food, and plaque that has begun to build up, will be gotten rid of and won’t be sitting on your teeth while you sleep. Once you get into a routine, it should only take a couple of minutes. It is a very small investment of time that can benefit you for a lifetime.
Excuse No. 5: It hurts when I floss.
If your gums bleed or hurt, you may have gingivitis or gum disease. That is an even better reason to floss.
“Flossing should not be a painful experience, but stopping flossing because of bleeding (or pain) is just the opposite of what you should be doing,” says Mark S. Wolff, DDS, PhD., Chairman of the Department of Cardiology and Preventive Medicine at New York University School of Dentistry. If you brush and floss daily, the bleeding and pain should stop in less than 2 weeks. If it doesn’t, call the office.
Excuse No. 6: My teeth are too close together.
Waxed floss should be easier to use. If you have gum recession, spaces between your teeth, or braces, you can also try a floss threader or other floss aid to find make it easier. If your floss shreds, you may have a cavity or a problem with dental work, like a broken crown or loose filling.
It is important to start young!!! Kids should start to floss as soon as they have two teeth that touch. They will need your help flossing until they are about 10 years old.
Please let us know of any concerns or difficulties you have with regard to flossing. We will be glad to help!!