Yes, you really need to floss
Think back to the last lie that you told. If you’re like 37 percent of Americans, it might have been when you told your dentist that you floss regularly. Flossing might not be the most fun activity in your morning and bedtime routine, but it is one of the most important. Learn how flossing can help you keep your teeth beautiful and healthy.
What does flossing actually do for your teeth
Flossing is the act of running special flexible string through your teeth. This motion works out any stuck food particles. Food stuck in your mouth just becomes fuel and breeding material for bacteria to grow and thrive. Getting these particles out removes a source of food for them. Flossing also clears out plaque, the film that contains bacteria. Removing them directly from your mouth prevents them from assaulting your enamel.
Dental floss is very thin, but is also strong enough to hold up to the action of running it between your teeth. This technique reaches places that a toothbrush or mouthwash simply can’t penetrate.Dentists recommend flossing as a necessary step every time that you brush your teeth.
Why do people choose not to floss?
Everyone has their own unique reason for not flossing. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Flossing takes too long: Many of us have a hectic morning routine that includes over a dozen tasks to get done before we can head out the door. Flossing seems like one that’s just not as important.
- They don’t like the taste: Floss has a waxy exterior that many people find unpleasant.
- The sensation is unpleasant: Some people find that flossing hurts, or that their gums bleed when they’re done.
What can you do to make flossing more pleasant?
Despite the perceived drawbacks or annoyances, flossing is important. Even if you don’t like to do it, there are ways to make it more enjoyable. Let’s address the issues one by one.
How to make flossing more efficient
Proper flossing technique can seem clumsy to some people. Or perhaps you have an aversion to having something in your mouth. These are understandable opinions. If you want to make flossing easier, try using a handle. These items come in two varieties, reusable and disposable. Reusable handles look like a razor handle, but instead of a blade they have a space for you to string floss. This allows you to clean your teeth without having to run your thumbs through your mouth.
Disposable handles are very small and look like the letter “P”. They have a pointing end that works like a toothbrush, plus a section of thin floss on the other. Just use them once and toss the handle away when you’re done. This type of handle comes individually wrapped so you can take one or a few with you to floss after meals at work or when you go out with friends.
Improving the taste of floss
So you might not like the taste in your mouth that comes from flossing. Did you know that dental floss comes in flavored varieties? Generally you have the same options as the most popular types of chewing gum, including peppermint, cinnamon, spearmint and more. Perhaps you don’t like the flavor of any sort of floss. In that case, try gargling with mouthwash or water once you’re done. This won’t alleviate the taste while you floss, but it can wash away the aftertaste, leaving you with a fresher feeling.
Reducing pain and bleeding associated with flossing
Do you notice that your gums bleed a little aft you’re done flossing? Perhaps this caused you to stop flossing in the past. Practicing good oral hygiene actually reduces your bleeding incidents. The more you floss, using proper technique, the less you bleed with each time. Eventually you can stop altogether.
Other factors might be causing you to be susceptible to tissue damage. Are you a smoker? Do you get enough of your vitamin C every day? How about physical and mental relaxation for stress relief? Reducing lifestyle-associated risks makes it easier to care for your teeth. Also, rinse and spit with hydrogen peroxide to disinfect the gums.
What are the benefits of flossing?
Once you begin and maintain your flossing regimen you may start to see significant improvement in your overall oral health and appearance. Getting rid of more food that hangs around in your mouth can cut out a lot of bacteria, which in turn can help your enamel to remain stronger. Your smile might even visibly improve. Another benefit is that the food particles you remvoe can’t contribute to bad breath. Once you’re used to the routine of flossing, there’s no going back.
Come to Timothy J. Butson, DMD, MSD
Dr. Butson is your top choice for cosmetic dentistry in the Seattle area. He can help you preserve the smile that you work so hard to maintain. His specialty of prosthodontistry and years of experience in cosmetic practices make him qualified to work on your teeth. If you find that flossing works for you, but you still want to enhance your look, make an appointment for teeth whitening or another procedure.
The staff who work for Dr. Butson are professionals with extensive training They treat you with dignity and respect, and make sure that you’re comfortable throughout your visit. It’s easy to make an appointment, just call or fill out our contact form on this site. We get back to your ASAP and schedule your visit for a time that’s convenient for you. You can get your visit covered through various types of insurance, just ask us about which coverage we accept and we can start working with you right away.
Make an appointment today
You don’t have to put up with a set of substandard teeth anymore. Do your part, including proper diet, brushing, and flossing, to care for your mouth. Back this up with regular appointments with Dr. Butson to ensure that everything’s in top shape. Make an appointment now and start living better today.