How many times hasn’t your dentist asked you whether you floss, and you answered “No” or “Well, I tried to do it for a while, but then gave up”? Dentists know that this is a way too common experience, however noble their clients’ intentions are to start and keep flossing their teeth. Somehow, there’s always something stopping them from continuing to floss as a normal part of their toothbrushing routine.
Obviously, knowing why flossing is important isn’t enough to make someone do it and stick to it – but it is a start. From there on, learning about the main reasons that people aren’t able to make flossing a habit, and how to do so, may be just what we need to make this self-care procedure an everyday part of our lives.
Why is Flossing Your Teeth Important?
The most important reason to floss regularly is that it helps to remove harmful substances. The more you use the tools that are provided to care for your teeth, the easier it will be for you to get rid of food particles, bacteria, and other harmful substances.
Some people might think that the only reason to floss is if they have plaque or tartar buildup on their tooth surfaces. This belief and subsequent consequences aren’t confined to any one country, but spans across borders. In a webinar at Din Tannlege i Jessheim, the Norwegian dental clinic Tannlegene i23 tells their clients that even if they don’t see any plaque at first glance, it is still important to clean and maintain their teeth. Healthline, a US health information office in San Francisco, echoes the same advice in one of their blog posts, saying that “By flossing and brushing your teeth, you’re removing plaque and the bacteria in it that feeds on sugar and particles of food that remain in your mouth after eating.”
Other reasons why we should all be flossing our teeth twice a day – whether we have any dental issues or not – are the health benefits of caring for our teeth regularly. Brushing our teeth has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 41%, and although this may not entirely be a direct cause of clean teeth, the general habit of caring for our teeth will often result in more healthy habits overall.
Why Don’t People Floss Their Teeth?
People have a tendency to forget to floss their teeth. The reason why flossing doesn’t get done is that it’s a tedious and time-consuming task. It’s also not something you can see immediate results from, so people tend to quickly abandon the habit.
To change this, the American Dental Association recommends using an electronic flosser in place of manual flossing. This will make the process more convenient and less time-consuming, which in turn will make it more likely for people to do it.
Other people simply don’t know how to floss their teeth. They might have tried, but feel that there’s just too little space between some teeth to get the toothpick or floss to fit in there, so that it can perform its job of rinsing the gums of food particles. In this case, all that’s needed might be a few flossing tips.
How to Floss Your Teeth the Right Way
There are a bunch of different ways to floss your teeth. It is important to know which way is right for you and your teeth, so you can get the best results.
Some people find it painful to use a toothpick while others prefer flossing to get between their teeth. If you have sensitive teeth, then using a water flosser might be better for you because it uses pressurized water that massages the gums.
In order to have healthy gums and avoid gum disease, it’s important that you learn how to correctly floss your teeth with a toothpick or a piece of floss, and that you keep up the habit for the rest of your life. This is where most people fall off, but it’s also where the biggest benefits are to be gained.