When you head to the dental office for your regular checkups, are you told that you haven’t been flossing enough? Even though you wish there was a shortcut to avoid being told this, there simply isn’t one. Flossing is crucial in order to maintain excellent oral health. That’s why it makes such a great New Year’s resolution. Continue reading to learn more from your dentist about why flossing is so important as well as some tips to help you get started.
Why Is Flossing So Important?
As much as brushing twice daily helps you to keep your smile in excellent shape, it isn’t good enough on its own. There are certain areas of the mouth that your toothbrush can’t quite reach, even if you are a very diligent brusher. When you use dental floss, you are able to remove food particles, plaque, and bacteria from between the teeth and beneath the gumline. This way, you can further reduce your chances of developing tooth decay and periodontal disease.
5 Tips to Help You Stay on Track with Regular Flossing
It is easy to fall off track when you are trying to incorporate something new into your routine. Here are some tips to help:
Ask Yourself: Why Aren’t You Flossing?
When you don’t floss as often as you should, there ought to be a reason behind it. For example, if you are exhausted at night and forget to floss, try setting a timer to go off just before bed so that it doesn’t slip your mind. If you don’t floss because you don’t like to, try a new way of flossing. You can find disposable flossers or floss holders that can help to make the job easier and more pleasant.
Set a Realistic Goal
Chances are that you won’t be going from never flossing to flossing daily overnight. Taking baby steps is key. Start out by flossing twice a week and gradually work your way up to flossing once a day.
Know the Risks of Not Flossing
If you don’t floss, you are much more likely to end up with gum disease. When left to progress, this condition can leave you with gum recession, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. It is also linked to other issues in the body like diabetes, heart disease, and preterm labor for pregnant women.
Don’t Be Discouraged by Bleeding
It is possible that your gums will bleed if you haven’t flossed in a while. This isn’t a sign that you should discontinue. After flossing regularly for a few days, this should stop. If it doesn’t, this could mean that you have gum disease. Talk to your dentist so you can work on a solution.
Changing up your normal habits can be a challenge, so allow yourself to have a little treat to congratulate yourself for all of your hard work.
Flossing is a necessary part of an excellent oral hygiene routine. By getting started now, you can show off a healthier smile!
About the Author
Dr. James P. Kostas is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for 27 years. He earned his dental doctorate from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine where he graduated magna cum laude and second in his class. He has also achieved Fellowship status in the Academy of General Dentistry and the American Dental Implant Association. For more ways to keep your smile healthy or to schedule an appointment at his office in Burlington, visit his website or call (781) 272-0441.