Flossing may not be part of your daily routine, but it should be. Regular flossing is a huge component to oral health and can help ward off bad breath, bleeding gums and periodontal disease. People who don’t floss regularly are practically inviting gingivitis, halitosis and eventual tooth decay. So why don’t more Americans floss their teeth?
Here’s a roundup of the five worst excuses given to dentists.
Even the fanciest of toothbrushes, water picks and oral hygiene products are no match for dental floss. Ultrasonic toothbrushes may work wonders, but they are unable to free the trapped food that gets lodged between teeth. If left behind for long periods, this contributes to plaque and calculus build-up leading to really awful breath!
This is perhaps the lamest excuse in the book and one that really frustrates dentists! If you have time to brush your teeth, wash your face and get dressed, you have a couple of spare minutes to floss. That’s really all the time it takes. Plan on flossing at least once per day (twice if you can!). If you run out of time in the morning, dental floss is light and travels well. Carry some with you to work so you can floss after lunch, or floss on the couch while watching your favorite program.
There are more than a dozen reputable brands of dental floss on the market today. Some varieties have thicker twine and wax coatings that make it difficult to slide between tight spaces. If you have crowded teeth or tend to get floss stuck in your teeth, try out a few brands until you find one that is thin and won’t shred easily. Both Oral B and Colgate offer wax-free ribbon-type flosses that are especially designed for close teeth.
Bleeding gums are a sure sign that you’re not flossing enough! If you haven’t flossed in several days or weeks, you can definitely expect some minor bleeding. Don’t get discouraged though as this is a temporary side effect that will pass as soon as you incorporate flossing into your daily routine. With regular flossing, the bleeding should stop completely within a few days.
On the long list of things we do to maintain our health, flossing is rarely nearly the top. Maybe you think that because you see your dentist twice a year, brush religiously and use a strong mouthwash, flossing is a waste of time. In reality, this could not be further from the truth. According to the CDC, nearly half of adults over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease. This startling statistic could easily be lowered if more people would take two minutes each day to floss the yuck from between their teeth.
The beautiful part about flossing is that it’s an easy habit to pick up. If it’s been a while and you’re feeling rusty, its worthwhile asking your dentist or hygienist at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry to show you the proper technique. With a bit of practice, you’ll soon be on your way to a healthy, beautiful smile.
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