Dental News

No More Excuses! You CAN Floss Daily

October 27, 2014

Why the 4 most common excuses for not flossing won’t fly at California Dental Group.

FlossAccording to a recent study, over half of Americans don’t floss daily, and about 10 percent don’t floss at all. Considering how important flossing is for your oral health and your overall health, these statistics should be pretty shocking.

Flossing is important because it helps to remove plaque bacteria and the bits of food debris that they feed on from crevices where your toothbrush just can’t reach. This helps keep your mouth free of tooth decay and gum disease, which in turn helps you avoid painful toothaches and tooth loss. And since oral hygiene has been linked to conditions like Alzheimer’s and heart disease, by extension flossing can also help protect your overall health.

You dentist has no doubt explained this to you multiple times. You might even leave their office after your dental exam and cleaning committed to mending your ways and flossing daily. However, excuses have a way of presenting themselves and making us fall back into old habits.

Next time the idea of not flossing tempts you, remember that there’s really no good reason not to floss! We’ve debunked the most common excuses here for you.

1. I don’t have time to floss. Flossing with proper technique, which reaches up along the gum line as well as between teeth, takes 3 to 5 minutes to complete. This is not a huge time investment! Your average commercial break on TV takes this long. If you have trouble convincing yourself to add 3 to 5 minutes to your bedtime routine, try flossing at a different time like after lunch.

2. My teeth are too tight. Yes, it is annoying to have your dental floss get stuck between your teeth and shred into a hopeless mess. However, this doesn’t mean you should give up. Just switch to a brand of waxed floss specifically designed for tight teeth. If your teeth are crooked as well as tight, you might consider correcting their alignment with orthodontics.

3. It hurts to floss. Actually, when flossing is painful or draws blood, this is a sure sign that you REALLY need to start flossing more. Visit your dentist for help getting the gum disease causing the bleeding under control as well as to fill cavities that may be causing pain when flossing between certain teeth. Then, continue flossing to make sure problems don’t recur.

4. I’m not coordinated enough to floss. Flossing does require some fine motor control, and reaching those back teeth can be especially challenging. If you have arthritis or some other issue that is affecting your dexterity, try using a flosser with a handle instead of dental floss. It should be easier for you to manage.

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