In 2016, the U.S. News posted results from a survey that was taken in America stating that 32 percent of people never floss. That means that millions of people are missing cleaning a huge surface of their teeth because they either think flossing is too difficult, find it uncomfortable, or just forget to do it! There’s a reason that your dentist reminds you to continue flossing between each of your teeth every time you see them for your checkup and cleaning—it’s because it’s one of the most important oral habits, right next to brushing! Read on to learn how to make flossing easier and why it’s such an important part of your daily hygiene routine.
When Should Children Start Flossing?
If you have children, it’s important to start having them floss early so they get into the habit and get used to the way it feels. It’s a lifelong routine that they should begin being able to do by themselves around the time they’re 10 or 11 years old. Before that, they may not have the dexterity to properly floss, so it’s a good idea for you to do it for them. Once they gain the skills to floss between each of their teeth without damaging their gums, encourage them to do it every day so it becomes a natural part of their daily habits.
Should You Floss Before or After You Brush?
Some people have strong opinions on whether you should floss before or after you brush your teeth, but the truth is, you can floss whenever you want—it’s just important to do every day. As long as you can do that, the timing doesn’t matter. However, some people prefer flossing brushing and rinsing their mouth after they floss to make sure that the clean spaces between their teeth receive more fluoride than they would if they were blocked by food debris. In this debate, there’s no winner, because timing isn’t everything!
What Should You Do If Flossing Hurts?
Many people may become hesitant to continue flossing their teeth because it could hurt or make their gums bleed a little bit. This is just your body getting used to the act again, and it’s completely common among people who forget to floss for awhile and then pick the habit back up. It sounds counterintuitive, but the best way to get flossing to stop hurting is to continue doing it every day. Eventually, the bleeding and tenderness will dissipate and it will be more comfortable. Another great secret to make flossing more comfortable is to try using a water flosser.
Why is Flossing Important?
Flossing helps reduce your risk of developing cavities and gum disease, just like brushing. While morning and nightly brushing is a great habit to have, your toothbrush can only clean a certain area of your teeth, leaving the spaces between to collect food debris and cause bacteria buildup. With daily flossing, you won’t have to worry about this!
A good and thorough oral hygiene routine is the key to being cavity-free and having short and sweet checkups and cleanings with your dentist. With the effort that you put into daily flossing, you’ll be able to keep your smile healthy while also avoiding needing pricey dental treatments due to developing oral health problems!
About the Author
Dr. Angelo Julovich is passionate about getting to know each of his patients and helping them optimize their oral health by providing them with thorough preventive care. Each year, he spends his extra time continuing his education and staying up-to-date with the latest technology and techniques in the dental world. He was also recently voted Top Dentist for the 11th year running! For questions or to schedule a checkup and cleaning, visit Trinity Dental’s website or call 317-769-3335.