Flossing is the most important habit for maintaining optimal dental health, but it’s a habit that seems easy to put off “until tomorrow.” However, orthodontist in Klamath Falls, OR Dr. Neil Walle encourages his patients to floss.
The Importance of Flossing
Flossing can often be an afterthought, especially once we’re done brushing our teeth. But when considering the surface area of teeth in our mouths, it’s important to note that a good amount of precious enamel is nestled right next to other teeth. It is unreasonable to expect a toothbrush to be able to clean in those tight spaces.
Dental floss, however, fits neatly in between teeth, providing an effective and efficient way to remove plaque from hard-to-reach places and drastically cutting the incidence of cavities that develop between teeth. Despite the importance of flossing, a study by the American Dental Association found that 10% of adults neglect to floss at all, while 48% of adults floss sporadically. These excuses often accompany our avoidance of flossing our teeth.
Excuse #1: I Don’t Have Time to Floss
This is an important concept to overcome. Think about how much time we spend in the bathroom with basic grooming so that we smell good and look good, then think about how many of these habits save our teeth.
Brushing and flossing our teeth takes so little time in the big scheme of things, and they both do so much for the health of your smile. Once it becomes a strong habit, flossing correctly takes under a minute to complete – plus, we really only need to floss once a day. Take the time to groom your smile to save your teeth!
Excuse #2: There’s No Food Between My Teeth
It’s essential to remember that flossing isn’t about removing trapped food from in between teeth – it’s about removing plaque. That sticky yellow substance builds up and leads to cavities and gum disease when it isn’t removed. This is why tooth decay happens in places that are hard to reach in the mouth.
Excuse #3: It Hurts Too Much to Floss
As they say at the gym, “No Pain, No Gain.” This doesn’t mean that flossing will or should hurt over time. However, many good habits – like exercise – may produce a little pain as your body adjusts. If your gums hurt during flossing, this is a sign of gingivitis, which actually means you need to floss more instead of less.
Excuse #4: Flossing is Too Hard
The act of flossing seems like a complicated set of steps, but the reality is that if you can hold a toothbrush, you can floss your teeth. Suspend a length of floss between the fingers of each hand and guide it between your teeth, curving around the surfaces to get into those nooks and crannies.
If flossing is sincerely a problem due to limited dexterity, talk with the Klamath Falls orthodontist Dr. Walle for advice and additional help with flossing. For a one-on-one consultation, call 541-884-8668 for a personal appointment!