Flossing is one of the main ways to keep your gums, mouth, teeth, and whole body healthy. Yet more than half of all Americans fail to floss daily, and another 20% don’t floss at all. This is of particular concern for all of us at my dental office in Lenexa. So we wanted to shed a bit of light on why so many people aren’t flossing.
So, What’s the Deal?
There are several reasons people aren’t flossing on a regular basis. Check out a few of the more common ones below.
They Don’t See The Point.
Flossing reaches places in your mouth that a toothbrush can’t. While brushing your teeth is still absolutely important in maintaining proper oral health, if you skip flossing, all of the spaces in between teeth are left uncleaned. With so many people forgoing the floss on a regular basis, it’s no surprise that most cavities are found in these exact spots. What’s more, flossing your teeth helps remove bacteria from below the gum line which can help reduce the risk of gum disease. Gum disease is an incredibly serious problem that can actually affect the whole body by increasing the risk of stroke and heart attack.
They Aren’t Sure How to Floss Correctly.
Although it seems pretty straightforward, there is a right way and wrong way to floss. Flossing will be uncomfortable if you’re not sure how to do it right. But we promise, it’s easy. Just follow the American Dental Association’s steps to successful flossing:
Use about 18 inches of floss. Wrap the ends around each middle finger.
Tighten the floss and wiggle it in between the space between teeth using a back and forth motion.
When it reaches the gum line, form the floss into a “U” around the shape of the tooth.
Press gently and glide the floss in an up and down motion.
Repeat between each tooth, unwrapping a new, clean section of floss.
They Have Pain or Bleeding.
There’s a common misconception that if flossing hurts, you should stop. The truth is quite the opposite. If flossing is a bit painful, it’s actually a sign of not flossing enough. Additionally, if gums bleed, it could be a sign of gum disease. Even if flossing isn’t so comfortable, it’s important to get into the habit of doing it regularly. Like exercising, it hurts less the more you do it.
If you’re having trouble flossing, or are experiencing pain or bleeding when you do, give my Lenexa dental office a call as soon as possible. We’ll work with you to find a flossing solution that works well for you and your health. And if we happen to find signs of a more serious problem, we’ll create an individualized plan to treat it.