It’s time to set some flossing reminders!
We know how hard it can be to get yourself to floss. It’s been a long day, you just finished brushing your teeth, and you’re ready to hit the hay. Anyways, does flossing even really matter? Didn’t brushing just remove all the bad bacteria from your teeth?
Actually, no, it may not have. The problem is that brushing isn’t always as effective as we’d like. For those with tightly packed or crowded teeth, brushing just can’t access certain areas. If plaque builds up in those hidden spots between your teeth, it will irritate your gums, and lead to the onset of gingivitis. And if that progresses, you’ll be facing full-blown gum disease, which is the top cause of tooth loss. Preserving your smile can start with a simple piece of floss.
Gum disease may mean a whole lot more than oral infection. Of course, if it’s allowed to spread, periodontitis can lead to tooth and bone loss, but its effects may stem outside of the mouth. Emerging research suggests that systemic health problems can be negatively impacted by gum disease, likely because of the inflammation involved. While a definitive link has yet to be established, why wait? Take this opportunity to engage with your oral health.
Practical Steps to Get Into the Daily Habit
- Set flossing reminders – Whether this means a note on your bathroom mirror, an alarm on your phone, or even putting your floss next to your pillow, there’s a way to get floss on the brain. Find the reminder that works best for you!
- Track improvements – Keep an eye on your gums, and make notes of how your hygienist evaluates your oral hygiene at your exams. Chances are, you’ll see healthier, stronger-looking gums and a happy dental staff (and you won’t have to dread the flossing portion of your cleaning).
- Find helpful products – If you don’t love the act of using floss, get handy tools that simplify the process, like floss holders/handles.
- Keep at it! – If you haven’t been flossing regularly, you’re going to experience a little learning curve. It takes a bit of time to get used to, and your gums may bleed during the first week of regular flossing. Your teeth may also feel a little sore. This is normal, and it will quickly fade if you just keep up your hygiene!