If you ask dentists which teeth to floss, the response is often, “only the ones you want to keep.” Combined with brushing, flossing is the most important contributor to your dental health. In fact, flossing promotes healthy gums as well as prevents tooth decay. Consider the following information about flossing if you think it’s not for you:
• When you only brush your teeth, you leave 40 percent of the germs in your mouth. It’s kind of like cleaning only 60 percent of your body.
• Research suggests that flossing may benefit overall wellbeing, including reduction in the risk of heat attack.
• Regular flossing will get the food and plaque stuck between teeth, which brushes often can’t reach. Plaque can harden into tartar, increasing the chances of developing periodontal disease and cavities. As well, flossing helps lessen the chances of developing bad breath by removing the debris from your mouth.
It takes about 30 days to create a habit, so if you don’t floss now, you can still get started.
Remember these tips:
• Plan to floss at the same time every day so you won’t forget or become distracted.
• If it seems to take too long, floss your upper teeth in the morning and lower teeth in the evening.
• When dexterity is an issue, look into a power flosser, which makes the process easier.
• As you floss, slide the string between the gums and teeth so as not to damage the tissue in your mouth.
• Completely brushing and flossing your teeth only takes about 10 minutes, but these steps can dramatically improve your dental health.