When you go to the dental office for your cleanings and checkups, are you consistently told that you need to floss more often because your gums are inflamed or bleeding? Even though you wish that there was a shortcut, there simply isn’t one. Flossing is crucial in order to maintain excellent oral health. That’s why it makes such a great New Year’s resolution. Read to learn more from a dentist in Harrisburg about why flossing is so important as well as some helpful tips to keep you on track.
Why Is Flossing So Important?
As much as brushing twice daily helps to keep your smile in good shape, it isn’t enough on its own. There are certain areas of your mouth that your toothbrush cannot reach, even if you are a very diligent brusher. When you use dental floss, you are able to remove food particles, plaque, and bacteria from between the teeth and beneath the gumline. This way, you can further reduce your chances of developing tooth decay and periodontal disease.
5 Tips to Help You Stay on Track with Regular Flossing
It is easy to fall off the wagon when you are trying to incorporate something new in your routine. Here are a few tips to help:
- Ask Yourself Why You Aren’t Flossing: When you don’t floss as much as you should, there ought to be a reason behind it. For example, if you are exhausted at night and forget to floss, try setting a timer to go off just before bed so that it doesn’t slip your mind. If you don’t floss because you don’t like to, try a new way of flossing. You can find disposable flossers or floss holders that can help to make the job easier and more pleasant.
- Set a Realistic Goal: Chances are that you won’t be going from never flossing to flossing daily overnight. Taking baby steps is key. Start out by flossing twice a week and gradually work your way up to flossing once a day.
- Know the Risks of Not Flossing: If you don’t floss, you are much more likely to end up with periodontal disease. When left to progress, this condition can leave you with gum recession, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. It is also linked to other issues in the body like diabetes, heart disease, and preterm labor for pregnant women.
- Don’t Be Discouraged by Bleeding: It is possible that your gums will bleed if you haven’t flossed in a while. This isn’t a sign that you should discontinue. After flossing regularly for a few days, this should stop. If it doesn’t, this could mean that you have gum disease. Search for a “dentist near me” so you can have your smile checked out.
- Reward Yourself: Changing up your normal habits can be a challenge, so allow yourself to have a little treat to congratulate yourself for all of your hard work.
Flossing is a necessary part of an excellent oral hygiene routine, and it is never too late to get started. This way, you will be able to show off healthy teeth and gums for many years to come.
About the Author
Dr. Gary M. Klein earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the NYU College of Dentistry. He is committed to staying abreast of the latest technology that dentistry has to offer by completing continuing education courses. For more ways to keep your smile healthy or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (717) 652-6644.