“I just never got in the habit.” ~Half of all adults
You’re not alone. According to a CDC survey, nearly 50% of American adults have periodontal (gum) disease and would rather go to the grocery store than floss. We know the majority of gum disease is preventable with excellent home care. With floss taking little time and cost, why do we hate doing something that’s so good for us?
Don’t hate the floss. Hate the gum disease.
There are always those one or two people who actually enjoy flossing. For most of us, it’s not something we necessarily look forward to. Hate is a strong word, but adults do a lot of things they don’t like—taking out the garbage, cleaning toilets, doing laundry, etc. A national survey found that 36% of adults would rather do an unpleasant activity than floss. But, if we adopt the mindset that flossing only takes a few minutes, and it’s for our own health, we might be more likely to make it a daily habit.
“You know, once I just made up my mind that I’m gonna floss every day, I just stuck with it. My gums used to bleed and hurt, but I just kept at it, rinsing out, using Listerine, and before I knew it, they just got better. Now, they don’t bleed, and it really doesn’t take much extra time at night, and my mouth just feels cleaner and healthier. I wish I would’ve started this habit a long time ago.” ~Anonymous
Change your mindset & create a good habit.
One way to create the habit of flossing is to be prepared. Many people have found that by having floss ready, near their toothbrush, they’re more likely to pick it up. By creating a mindset, or intention for yourself, you’re more than likely to follow through than if it’s out of sight and mind.
Floss Fact: You’re missing 35% of the tooth surface when you skip the floss!
What type of floss is best?
The best floss is the one we’re most likely to use. Sometimes it’s a bit of trial and error, but once you find the right type of floss for your teeth, daily flossing won’t seem like a chore.
Super tight contacts?
Try using Glide Pro-Health Original Floss. It slides 50% easier between tight teeth and is less likely to get stuck like unwaxed types. Glide is popular because it’s truly easy to use.
Use a woven, yarn-like floss. It scrubs better, grabbing more plaque, than the slicker types of floss. Reach, gentle gum care is a favorite among dental hygienists.
Not picky, just want a good floss for less money?
Reach waxed (regular or mint flavor) is a good, standard floss & is usually less expensive. Waxed floss is easier to hold on to & is less slippery than Glide as well.
Tip: You can often find Reach waxed floss at dollar stores! Stock up!
Need another reason to floss? You can reverse gingivitis!
Gingivitis, in it’s earliest stages, can be reversed. The longer you wait, the more potential for red, swollen gums to turn into advanced gum disease.
Get Back on Track.
If you haven’t flossed in weeks or even months, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just pick it back up and keep at it, knowing each time you floss, you’re doing something good for yourself.
Dental Fact: Healthy gums don’t bleed
We’ve all heard our dentist or dental hygienist say we need to floss. Some of us hate hearing it, because we know, we know. None of us are perfect, but those who make the mindset to floss daily have healthier mouths.
When we’re poking your gums, it’s not to be mean. It’s our job to assess your overall oral health—and we genuinely want the best for you & your teeth! Let us know if you have any areas where food or floss gets stuck, and see your dental hygienist 2x per year to remove any hardened plaque (tartar/calculus) that regular flossing and brushing can’t remove.
Creating a mindset to floss daily may lead to other positive changes in healthy living!
Dr. Coleman is a leading cosmetic dentist in the United States, as well as an international lecturer in dental techniques and technology. With a great sense of humor and a sense of compassion for others, Dr. Coleman takes pride in improving the lives and smiles of his patients.