Have you constantly been told by your dentist or hygienist that you aren’t flossing enough whenever you go in for your regular cleaning and checkup? As much as you wish there were a shortcut to prevent gum inflammation and bleeding, there isn’t one. Flossing is a necessary step that is crucial for excellent oral health. That’s why additional flossing makes an excellent New Year’s resolution. Continue reading to learn why flossing is so important as well as some tips to help you keep up with your new resolution.
Brushing twice a day goes a long way when you are trying to keep your smile in good shape. However, brushing isn’t enough on its own. There are some areas of your mouth that your toothbrush simply can’t reach. This is why your dentist recommends that you floss at least once a day. By doing this you can get rid of food particles, plaque, and bacteria from hard-to-reach places like between the teeth and beneath the gumline. This way, you can reduce your chances of developing tooth decay or periodontal disease.
Even though you are very committed to your resolution, a few tips never hurts. Here are some things you can do to help make the new year a success for your smile:
Ask why you don’t floss: By knowing why you don’t normally floss as much as you should, you may be able to come up with some ways to keep this from happening. For instance, if you are usually exhausted when you get home at night and frequently forget to floss before bed, try setting a timer on your phone to go off just before bedtime or place a sticky note on your bathroom mirror. If you don’t like flossing and frequently avoid it, try purchasing a floss holder or disposable flossers to make the job easier and more pleasant.
Have a realistic goal: You probably won’t jump from never flossing to flossing every single day, and that’s okay. Start out by flossing twice a week and gradually work your way up until you are flossing daily. Commit to specific days ahead of time.
Remember the risks of not flossing: If you aren’t flossing, you are much more likely to end up with periodontal disease. When left to progress, the common condition could leave you with gum recession, loose teeth, and tooth loss. Gum disease is also linked to other conditions elsewhere in the body, like diabetes and heart disease.
Don’t let bleeding surprise you: Many people think they should stop flossing at the sight of blood, but this isn’t true. If you haven’t flossed in a while, bleeding is possible. This is normal and should stop after a few days. If it doesn’t you probably have gum disease and should see your dentist for advice.
Reward yourself: When you go a week or month without missing a day, don’t forward to reward yourself for your hard work. Have a little treat to congratulate yourself.
Keeping up with your oral health is a must, and that means regular flossing. After you get into the habit of flossing, you are bound to notice the benefits. You’ll be able to show off your strong, healthy smile for many years to come.