Do you cringe at the thought of your hygienist or dentist telling you to floss more often? There is only one solution, and it isn’t as difficult as many of us make it out to be. However, a lot of people still slack on their daily flossing. The New Year is a great time to make this change, but you will need to stick with it to see the benefits. Continue reading to learn from your dentist in Lexington why flossing is so important, plus get some tips to maintain your New Year’s resolution.
Why Is Flossing Crucial for a Healthy Smile?
Even though brushing twice a day goes a long way in keeping your smile in good health, it isn’t enough. There are certain areas of your mouth that your toothbrush cannot quite reach. That’s why dentists all over the world recommend that you floss at least once a day. This helps you get rid of food particles, plaque, and bacteria from between the teeth and beneath the gumline. When this isn’t removed, you are much more likely to develop tooth decay and periodontal disease.
How Do I Keep My Flossing Habits Going Throughout 2022?
Even if you feel motivated now, the following tips may help you make your New Year’s resolution a reality:
- Reward yourself: For every week or month you floss without missing a day, allow yourself to have a little treat as a reward for your diligence.
- Don’t be surprised by bleeding: A lack of flossing usually means the gums are inflamed, so they may bleed the first few times you floss. This is normal and should stop after a few days. If not, you likely have gum disease and need to visit your dentist.
- Remember the risks: If you don’t floss, you are much more likely to end up with periodontal disease. This can lead to gum recession, loose teeth, and tooth loss. Periodontal disease is also linked to other health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
- Ask yourself why you don’t floss: If you are always exhausted when you get home at night, flossing may not be the number one thing on your mind. Set a reminder on your phone to go off right before bedtime or put a sticky note on your bathroom mirror. Don’t like flossing? Purchase a floss holder or disposable flossers to make the job easier.
- Set a realistic goal: You probably won’t go from no flossing to flossing daily. Try beginning with flossing twice a week and gradually increasing until you’re doing it daily. Commit to specific days ahead of time.
As your dentist will tell you, it pays to keep up with your oral health. By taking steps like flossing every day, you will be able to show off a strong, healthy smile for many years to come. Best of luck with your New Year’s resolution!
About the Author
Dr. Anthony Feck has been working for the smiles of his patients for nearly four decades. He finished in the top three of his class at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. Dr. Feck is a member of the American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. He will be happy to further discuss the virtues of flossing during your next checkup and cleaning. You can schedule one on his website or call (859) 223-4644.