are you one of the 30 percent who floss daily

Do you floss your pearly whites at least once a day? If you do, you’re in the minority. If not, you certainly have plenty of company! Studies show that only 30% of Americans floss at least once a day. Flossing plays an important part in maintaining your oral health, but the majority of people simply don’t add it to their daily routine.

Here’s why flossing is important and how you can make it a habit.

Why is Flossing Necessary?

You don’t have to believe us—take it from the Federal Government and ADA who say that flossing is an important oral hygiene practice that helps protect your mouth from a host of dental problems.  

Food particles that remain between your teeth attract bacteria. Plaque then forms which eventually leads to tooth decay and gum disease. Flossing before or after brushing removes those food particles and plaque from the surfaces of your teeth and the gum line.

What Happens If You Don’t Floss?

There are real consequences when you choose not to floss. Even skipping a couple days of flossing causes plaque buildup which increases your risk of gingivitis and cavities. That’s because plaque hardens into tartar which, the longer it stays there, can then lead to serious issues. Only a dental professional can remove tartar from your teeth.

Once gum disease sets in, your dental health becomes a lot more serious. Gum inflammation and loss of bone that supports your teeth can ultimately lead to tooth loss. Gum disease has also been linked to other serious health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and even dementia.

How to Make Flossing a Habit

  • Put a sticky note on your mirror. Some people also put in on their toothbrush holder so that as they reach for or put back their toothbrush they’re reminded to floss. Leave the floss out in an obvious place as well.
  • Put a reminder on your phone. If you’re more of a digital person, schedule a daily flossing reminder at the same time every day.
  • Reward yourself for flossing. This can be a daily reward, like your first cup of coffee after flossing or a weekly reward like a Netflix binge.
  • Listen to music or a podcast while flossing. The recommended three minutes for brushing, flossing, and rinsing goes by a lot more quickly if you listen to a favorite tune or podcaster!

Finally, if you just don’t like dealing with floss, try some alternatives to the old-school string method.

  • A flossing stick gives good leverage and more control, and some people says it’s less painful than regular flossing.
  • A handheld water flosser sprays streams of water in steady pulses between your teeth. Choose one with the ADA seal.
  • Interdental brushes work like tiny toothbrushes between your teeth.
  • Pre-threaded floss is the perfect alternative for people who have trouble maneuvering floss in their mouth and between their teeth.

See Your Dentist

Brushing your teeth, rinsing with mouthwash, and flossing are the three important elements that make up a good home oral hygiene routine. If you’ve been remiss in flossing or notice plaque buildup on your teeth and near your gums, schedule a checkup and dental cleaning with Kanehl Dental Group as soon as possible. Your teeth, gums, and smile will thank you!