Flossing: Make It Your New Year’s Resolution
At the start of the New Year, many of us will make resolutions to do better in some area of our lives. But come February, most of those New Year’s resolutions will be a distant memory. So why not make a resolution you know you can keep? The American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day for good oral health. If flossing isn’t already a part of your daily routine, consider making your New Year’s resolution to floss every day for the next 365 days. It’s a small, easy change in your daily routine that can make a surprisingly big difference in your oral health.
Brushing only gets you half way there
According to a 2008 survey, only 49% of us floss daily, and one in every ten Americans never floss at all.1 Many people view flossing as the less important sidekick to brushing, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Brushing cleans food and plaque (the sticky film that is home to cavity-causing bacteria) from only about 60% of the surface area of your teeth. But flossing gets cleans the spaces between the teeth and the areas where the gums meet the teeth, making it more important than brushing when it comes to preventing gum disease.2
No More Excuses!
Here are common excuses that people make for not flossing:
I don’t have time to floss! It may take a couple of minutes to floss, but it’s saving you time and even money that you might have to spend down the road on costly dental procedures.
The spaces between my teeth are too narrow. Buy the kind of dental floss that is flat and glides easily between tight teeth.
It hurts when I floss. Flossing shouldn’t hurt. Pain could mean that you’re flossing incorrectly. It may also be a sign of gum disease, which is all the more reason to keep on flossing!
The floss falls apart. If your floss is shredding, it could mean you have a cavity between your teeth, or have dental work that is catching on the floss and needs to be fixed.
I don’t see or feel any food in my teeth, so I don’t need to floss. Most food particles that get caught in the teeth are too small to feel or see. But flossing isn’t just for removing trapped food. It also helps clean plaque from areas brushing can’t reach.
I can’t floss because I have dental work that gets in the way. Try something called a floss threader, which is made specifically for people with braces and other dental work.
It’s only a couple of minutes…. Start the New Year off right with a resolution you can feel good about. Here’s to a healthy smile and a very Happy New Year!