4 Reasons Why You Should Join the 41% of Americans Who Floss Regularly
Why You Should Floss Regularly
Most patients are good at brushing their teeth. They brush in the morning after breakfast to help ensure fresh breath for the day. And they brush again at bedtime to remove all the food particles and bacteria that accumulated throughout the day. But for whatever reason, many patients—roughly 59% of them—haven’t adopted flossing as part of their daily oral hygiene routines.
So why do only 41% of U.S. adults floss daily if they understand that it is a critical component of oral care? Unfortunately, we don’t know precisely why so many American adults (and kids) simply forego this critical step. But we can assume that the reasons people don’t floss probably include the following:
- People get too busy during the day, and flossing feels like one thing that they can skip without serious repercussions.
- They might not know how to floss their teeth properly.
- Patients feel that they are not coordinated enough to get to those hard-to-reach spaces and skip out on the entire process as a result.
- They feel that flossing hurts, or perhaps they see blood when they floss and don’t want that to happen again.
But the thing is, your dentist’s office near Friendship Heights can help with all of these perceived roadblocks. Because the fact is, flossing regularly helps prevent cavities and gum disease.
What You Should Know About the Importance of Flossing
As we said above, flossing is critical to help protect your oral health. Check out these benefits of flossing and why you should join the 41% of Americans who floss regularly. After all, wouldn’t we all love to see that number be higher?
1. Flossing is just as important as brushing.
You must still brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time using a soft-bristled toothbrush and dentist-recommended toothpaste. But brushing alone can’t get those food particles out from between the teeth. Only flossing can do that. So when you skip out on flossing, you leave those food particles lodged between the teeth to feed bacteria that can eat away at your enamel.
2. Knowing how to floss properly is half the battle.
There are five key steps to flossing properly: wind, guide, glide, shape, and slide. Check out the details below.
- Wind 18” of dental floss between the middle fingers of both of your hands.
- Guide the floss by pinching it between your thumbs and index fingers, leaving about two inches in between.
- Glide the floss in a zig-zag motion between your teeth.
- Shape your floss into a C shape around your tooth.
- Slide the floss up and down against the surface of your tooth and beneath the gumline. And don’t forget to floss the back of each tooth too.
Want a visual guide on how to floss properly? Check out this video from the American Dental Association.
3. Consistency is key.
One of the reasons that so many people fall behind on their goals is that they aren’t consistent enough to create healthy habits. Flossing is no exception. Here are some tips to help you make flossing a daily habit—because once you get into the habit of something, doing it just gets easier.
- Set a few daily goals that are easy to tackle. For example, drink eight glasses of water, set aside 10 minutes for some self-care, and take two to three minutes at the end of the day to floss your teeth.
- Floss your teeth before you brush so you’ll always remember.
- Find the type of floss that works best for you.
- Make use of habit tracker apps on your phone, such as Productive, Strides, Habit Tracker, and Coach.me.
4. Try a water flosser.
Don’t let your dislike for waxy floss turn you off to flossing. Selecting the right floss for you and exploring alternatives for dental floss is a great way to help you buy into the routine. Water flossers are a great alternative and are highly effective in getting at all those hard-to-reach areas in your mouth. Talk to your dentist about recommended water flossers and ask for tips on getting at all those tough areas. You can also check out this video from Waterpik.
Talk to us about why it is so critical to floss regularly.
If you still find yourself struggling to floss regularly, let’s talk about it at your next preventive cleaning and evaluation. Request an appointment today, and we’ll help you learn how to floss and show you how much flossing can help your oral health. We look forward to seeing you.