It’s a reality that most adults don’t floss their teeth daily, or even regularly. If one of your resolutions for the year is to stick with flossing to improve your oral health, you’ve come to the right place! While it can be tough to get started, regular flossing can significantly reduce cavities and gum inflammation, making it worth the extra effort.
Never stop flossing again after incorporating these simple tricks into your daily routine.
Adding structure to your flossing habits makes it easier to achieve your goal each day. Set a reminder system that’s going to help you stay on top of your daily flossing. Whether you have an alarm go off each morning before leaving the house or at night before heading to bed, a phone alert puts floss at the forefront of your thoughts. Many patients find that a sticky note stuck to the bathroom mirror is also a great reminder to floss.
For busy adults who spend most of their time thinking of others while running out the door, taking an extra five minutes to floss each morning can sound daunting. Keep your dental floss or floss picks in convenient places such as in the car, your purse, in a desk drawer at work, or put one in a basket on your coffee table. This way, not only will you have a subtle reminder to floss when you see it, but you will have easy access to floss whenever it’s convenient. This little trick is the number one way to help people get into the habit of flossing!
It can be tough to get started with regular flossing. If you have gingivitis or your gums are sensitive, you’ll likely experience some bleeding and tenderness. But this will fade within a few days of consistent flossing and should be gone entirely within a week. Keep track of your progress, and set up a self-reward system for achieving your flossing goals.
While floss might seem relatively straightforward, there are actually different kinds available. If you have teeth that are close together and difficult to floss between, a fine floss will help you navigate between them. Waxed floss and flavored floss help make flossing easy to perform and enjoyable, with a minty-fresh aftertaste.
There are also several excellent alternatives to string floss. Floss picks are single-use disposable plastic devices that hold a piece of pre-threaded floss between two prongs on one end and have a pick shape on the other end. If you’ve struggled with flossing in the past, consider trying a different approach.
Also known as water flossing, water picking offers an alternative to traditional flossing. This method uses a handheld appliance that flushes the space between teeth with water. The water’s pressure massages the gums and pushes food particles away from the teeth. If you dislike regular floss, this might be a better option. Note that waterpiks don’t usually remove all plaque, so combining a water flosser with regular floss is the best bet.
Like brushing your teeth, flossing is the most effective when performed with the correct technique, and it’s easy to floss incorrectly. Check up on your flossing technique by ensuring that your efforts are effective. Unsure if you’re using the proper flossing technique? Ask one of our hygienists at Tompkins Dental to watch you floss so we can give you any necessary adjustments. Call us today to schedule your first exam of 2020 and make this the year you finally stick to flossing!