I’m sure you’ve heard for most of your life about how important flossing is for your smile. You already know that flossing reaches places that a toothbrush can’t reach and that it reduces your chances of getting gum disease and tooth decay. Why is it then that only 30.3 percent of American adults report that they floss once a day, and 32.4 percent report that they don’t floss at all? Let’s talk about common reasons people don’t floss and find out if they are valid points.
You Don’t Have the Time
If one thing is certain, it’s that Americans are busy. We have careers to pursue and families to raise. That’s not even mentioning trying to balance any free time between hobbies, friends, and a little relaxation. Did I mention we need some time to sleep?
With the little time we have, is it worth spending it flossing? Absolutely! You should brush twice daily for 2 minutes each time and floss once daily for around 2 minutes. So that’s about 6 minutes out of your day spread out between morning and night.
Flossing reduces the plaque and food particles in your mouth that feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. In a study from the Journal of the American Heart Association, participants with tooth loss were more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease and those with gum disease had a 17% higher mortality rate. Taking good care of your smile with brushing and flossing is vital for both oral and overall health.
If gum disease and tooth decay are left to their own devices, then it will take extra time and effort to restore oral health. We are more than happy to help you with any of your dental issues. That said, we want you to have as much free time as you can to do all the things you love. Flossing is an investment in your health that will save you time and money you’d otherwise spend on dental treatment in the future.
It’s Too Much of a Hassle
Many patients may have a hard time with flossing. If flossing is too difficult for you, then there are alternatives that will meet your flossing needs.
Oral Irrigators use a small jet of water to clean between teeth. There’s a wide assortment available and they can help patients that have a hard time flossing.
Interdental brushes are small brushes designed to clean between teeth. They’re effective and easy to use. If you find flossing difficult, they’re a great alternative for removing debris from in between teeth.
Floss picks are a great alternative if you have a hard time getting a good angle when flossing. Floss picks are small and disposable. They come with a piece of floss already attached and give you a handle to get the leverage to get all the areas in your mouth. They make flossing simple and easy.
Remembering Not to Forget
Even with the best intentions and with a full understanding of the benefits, we understand that it can be easy to simply forget to floss. Once flossing is made a habit, it’s much easier to stay on top of it. The goal then should be to find ways to remember to floss until it becomes second nature.
The Best Time
One of the keys to starting good habits is doing the desired behavior at the same time every day. The great news is that you can floss whenever it’s most convenient. For some, it may be best to do it right when they wake up. Others find that flossing before bed is easier. Still, others find flossing after their lunch to be most effective for them. Which time of day is less important than choosing the same time consistently to develop the habit.
Setting a daily reminder to floss on your phone is an easy way to help remember. Additionally, you can also write physical notes for yourself and stick them where you will see them, such as on your bathroom mirror or on the back of your bedroom door. These reminders are not meant to remain permanent, they are just there to help instill the routine until you remember without the reminders.
You Can Do It
Flossing is an easy and simple way to improve dental and overall health. It reaches places brushing can’t and helps prevents tooth decay and gum disease. There are alternatives if it becomes difficult and it only takes a couple of minutes. With reminders and a convenient time, daily flossing is an extremely attainable goal.
Regardless of your current dental health, we are here to help. We truly care about your smile and want to get you on the path to the smile of your dreams. Dr. Amato and his team are delighted to answer any of your questions and help you find a solution for any of your dental problems.
Visit Us Today
Dr. Amato offers a wide variety of dental services including professional cleanings, teeth whitening, and dental implants. At Amato Dentistry, we understand that every patient is unique and has their own specific set of needs and concerns. We’re here to make your time with us easy and stress-free. Call us today to schedule your next visit.