Preventive Care

For some reason, adults act about flossing their teeth the same way kids act about brushing their teeth. They don’t really want to do it, and so they seek out shortcuts or avoid the practice altogether. Clearly, it’s a bad idea for children to go without brushing their teeth. And the same goes for non-flossers. You’ll regret it later for not taking the time to clean between your teeth now.

Flossing, it can be argued, is even more important than brushing your teeth. But this reality doesn’t stop people from making excuses about neglecting to floss. Here are some of the biggest and most often used justifications for skipping the dental floss:

Excuse 1: The hygienist will floss my teeth at my dental cleaning.

Presumably, like most adults, you get your teeth professionally cleaned by a dentist or hygienist every six months. One flossing every six months is not going to cut it when it comes to oral health. Do you only brush your teeth once every six months too? That would be ludicrous, right? Yes, your hygienist will floss for you, but if he or she is the only person to ever do this task, you no doubt experienced discomfort and maybe even bleeding during the procedure because your gums are not accustomed to flossing. Plus, you may be in pain because the lack of flossing has led to cavities or gum disease – big problems that could have been avoided with just a few moments of due diligence. Be proactive about your dental care and oral health.

Excuse 2: Food doesn’t get stuck in my teeth.

Ok, so maybe you have a gapped smile that just doesn’t hold onto food pieces. Or perhaps you don’t feel like there’s ever food stuck between your teeth. Or maybe you believe your teeth are too tight together to possibly trap food particles. But flossing isn’t intended to remove food from teeth – yes, this is a benefit of flossing, but the main purpose of this practice is to scrape away plaque. You can’t avoid plaque – it is inevitable no matter how good your diet and no matter how carefully you brush. Flossing and a deep cleaning from my dentist or hygienist is the only act that can remove the plaque. Here are 4 oral health problems you should never ignore.

Excuse 3: I don’t have time to floss.

Perhaps the last thing you want to do is add one more task to your to-do list before bed. Flossing truly doesn’t take more than a minute to complete, but any additional burdens on a busy adult’s time can just be exhausting. But really, flossing only takes 60 seconds. And flossing doesn’t have to happen at the same time you brush your teeth – doing both in the same span of time is a good idea, but it isn’t necessary. So why not keep dental floss in your car or purse? Whip out a strand when you’re stuck in traffic or after your lunch break before you go back to the office. Find a routine that works for you and floss at least once a day. There is time to make flossing happen. Learn 3 surprising causes of tooth decay.

Excuse 4: It hurts when I floss my teeth.

If you have pain every time you floss, especially if you floss religiously, then there is a bigger oral health problem happening. Most likely, you a suffering from gingivitis or even full-blown gum disease. If you have just begun a dedicated flossing regimen after months or even years of not flossing, then you can expect a little discomfort at first. But this feeling and any bleeding should subside after a few weeks. If it doesn’t, then it’s time to see your dentist to figure out what else might be happening. Is not brushing your teeth before bed really that bad?

All for Floss and Floss for All!

There are always excuses that can prevent you from doing something, but flossing is for your own good. A mouth in disrepair leads to an unhealthy body, so it’s worth asking your dentist or hygienist to demonstrate proper flossing techniques. Practicing flossing will help you become more coordinated at efficient at flossing and, believe us, your dentist and hygienist will notice. Experts can spot a flosser from 20 paces – and that’s a good thing. Get on the road to fantastic flossing and strong oral health. Make an appointment with Jacksonville dentist Dr. Shaista Najmi at Ivory Dental.

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