We all know that brushing our teeth is one of the most important health care practices. However, when it comes to flossing, most of us would only do it when we find a piece of food stuck stubbornly between our teeth. In fact, the Australian Dental Association (ADA) has found that while more than 30 per cent of Australians brush their teeth daily, most of us don't floss. The truth is, though, flossing should be done daily.
Flossing has the ability to access areas between your teeth that can't be done with a toothbrush.
Why you need to floss
Flossing has the ability to access areas between your teeth that can't be done with a toothbrush. It is a step that should be added to your dental regime as it can prevent gingivitis and your teeth from decaying. Quite often, plaque, filled with bacteria, may form under the gum line where your toothbrush cannot reach.
When you do not floss, there is the risk of gum disease, which poses a bigger risk as you get older, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). In severe cases, other medical conditions such as heart disease and stroke may happen.
Why you don't floss
To some, there is the perception that flossing is a chore that takes up more time than people would like to invest. In order to do it correctly, you would need to slide the tape or string between the gaps in a thorough, zigzag motion to get rid of any food. Dr. Antonio Moretti, director of the University of North Carolina's graduate periodontology program told Yahoo Health that flossing is hard as it requires dexterity, which may be why many people avoid it.
Make it a habit
The easiest way to make flossing part of your dental regime is to turn it into a habit. Although annoying at first, it will soon become an activity you do as a second nature. Some techniques to help cultivate this habit include:
- Floss before you brush as this would encourage you to deal with the undesirable first
- Keep a visual cue like a Post-it note where your toothbrush lives since this will remind you what needs to be done
- Start small by slowly introducing flossing into your daily routine so you will eventually get used to it
Now that you have gotten into the habit of flossing, it is still important to visit your dentist for regular checkups. Make an appointment with City Dentists online to get more information on flossing and gum disease.