You should floss at least once a day, according to the American Dental Association. But do you?
Studies show that you probably don’t. Only 4 out of 10 Americans floss once per day. Two out of 10 Americans never floss.
Why is flossing so important for oral health and what can you do to make it a habit?
The Benefits of Flossing
Brushing your teeth is an effective way to remove plaque and bacteria from tooth surfaces, but your toothbrush can’t fit in between your teeth — only floss can do that. Flossing helps extract plaque from where your teeth touch, preventing cavities and gum disease. Flossing also removes food particles from between your teeth, helping to eliminate bad breath.
If you aren’t flossing once a day, your teeth are at a higher risk of decay, and your mouth may not be as fresh as it could be. It’s time to start flossing, and here are five tips to help you stay on track:
Pick a Product You Like
If your teeth are close together, find a floss that’s waxed so it won’t shred when you wiggle it between your teeth. You also could use a flossing stick or a water flosser. Find a flossing product you prefer, and you’ll have a better experience with this oral care habit.
You Can Floss at Any Time
Don’t limit yourself to flossing at one time of the day. You can floss in the morning, after lunch or at night before bed. As long as it gets done, you’re going to see the oral health benefits.
Keep flossing sticks in your desk at work or take a box of floss along with you in your purse. Find a time of day that works best for you and you’ll be more likely to stick to the habit.
Sure, you should floss every day, but start by challenging yourself to do it once per week. Eventually, add in some extra days. Starting small will make building up to a daily habit easier to establish and less intimidating.
Set an Alarm
If you feel like the only issue standing between you and a regular flossing habit is remembering to do it, set a reminder alarm on your phone. Eventually you may not need the alarm anymore, but it can help you get into the habit if you’re starting from scratch.
Eating hard candy probably isn’t a good reward for flossing, but you could let yourself indulge in an extra episode of your favorite television show or pick out a delicious healthy snack. Training your brain to associate flossing with a reward will help establish a habit quickly.
Regular dental checkups also are important to your oral health. Make an appointment with Oak Hills Dentistry today and get friendly encouragement that will help motivate you to keep brushing and flossing every day.