Flossing is one of those things you know you should do, you feel guilty about when you schedule a dentist appointment, but you never quite get around to doing. There are several reasons people avoid stringing that minty thread through their teeth, but none of them are valid enough to outweigh the benefits.
Here are some of the common hesitations people have with flossing, and tips on how and why to overcome them.
I don’t have time
At the end of the day, it’s all you can do to even brush your teeth before falling asleep, but flossing is just asking too much. And getting ready in the morning is already a race against the clock, so you can’t be expected to floss in the morning.
Flossing doesn’t have to be associated with brushing. The important part about flossing is that you do it. Take floss with you in the car, leave it in the shower to do while your conditioner sets in, whenever you have free time during your day bring out the floss.
Okay so you found some time, but the first time you pull the floss through it looks like a horror movie in your mouth. Don’t be discouraged, this is even more of a reason to floss.
The good news is your sensitive gums will toughen up within 2 weeks. The bad news is, this could sometimes be a sign of gingivitis or gum disease. Still, flossing is the solution to these conditions and further neglect will only worsen them and lead to more problems.
Food doesn’t get stuck in my teeth
Some people’s teeth are closer together than others, and you might not see the need to floss if food doesn’t get stuck in your teeth easily. Keep in the mind that the purpose of floss is not to remove food, but to remove plaque. Just the exposure to sugar and other compromising foods or chemicals can cause plaque to start building up and turn into tartar.
Not coordinated, can’t reach
It’s a tight space to pull that floss through, and not much room for your hand. If it’s a struggle or takes too much time to floss, there are several alternatives to traditional floss that can help you get the job done.
WebMD has an awesome list of tools that can help you floss. These include plastic, disposable, Y-shaped flossers that allow for extra reach, small, round brushes, pointed rubber tips, and wooden or plastic pics (called interdental cleaners).
As you adopt better flossing practices, encourage your children to floss to help them develop good oral hygiene habits for life. Children under the age of 10 or 11 need your help flossing adequately, but as soon as young children have two teeth that touch they should start flossing.