Flossing your teeth is one of the most important personal hygiene chores, but also one that many people neglect the most. Dentists say that flossing is even more important than brushing for preventing gum disease and tooth loss. But only 49% of Americans floss daily, and 10% don’t floss at all. Many people give excuse after excuse as to why not.
Excuse #1: I don’t know how to floss.
Flossing takes practice and determination. Instructions are available from your dentist, the internet, dental brochures, and many other places. It’s easy to learn the correct steps, but it’s up to you to follow them and stick with it.
Excuse #2: I’m not coordinated enough.
If you’re having lots of trouble flossing the traditional way, there are other options. Try floss holders, which are disposable devices that hold a piece of floss between two prongs so that only one hand is required. Other choices include spiral brushes, toothpick-like dental stimulators, or rubber nubs located on the end of some toothbrushes.
Excuse #3: I don’t need to floss.
Everyone needs to floss, even if you don’t feel like anything is caught between your teeth. The goal is to remove plaque that can lead to serious dental problems, and flossing is the only way to get rid of plaque between your teeth.
Excuse #4: Flossing hurts.
With proper daily oral care, gum pain and bleeding should stop. If it continues after a couple of weeks of regular flossing, you should see your dentist.
Excuse #5: I don’t have time.
Good flossing takes several minutes, but even one minute is beneficial. Make it part of your daily routine. Keep floss in plain view near your toothbrush, and keep an extra spool of floss in your purse or car so you can squeeze it in when you have time.