“How often do you floss?”
Many patients who hear this question as they sit in the dentist’s chair are hoping it’s an April Fools’ joke. Flossing is a quick and easy way to make sure you’re taking care of your teeth – but many times, it’s ignored or put off until the week of your dentist appointment.
Excuses abound for why people don’t floss: “Food doesn’t get stuck in my teeth”, “It hurts too much”, or the classic “I don’t have time!” are some of the most common excuses people give for not flossing. However, none of these reasons make for good excuses to skip flossing. The “food doesn’t get stuck in my teeth” excuse is especially bad. Removing food actually isn’t the main reason to floss; flossing gets rid of plaque and prevents gum irritation and gum disease.
If your gums bleed or hurt when you floss, it might be a sign of gingivitis. But it isn’t a sign that you should stop flossing! If you brush and floss daily, the bleeding should stop in less than two weeks. Using a hard or medium bristled toothbrush can cause tender gums to bleed so the family dentists at Dakota Dental always recommend using a soft toothbrush in addition to proper flossing techniques.
And the most popular excuse, “I don’t have time” – it’s just not true. Though flossing twice a day is ideal, aim for at least once a day. It only takes a few minutes and will quickly become a part of your daily routine.
Why is it so important to floss? In addition to removing plaque and preventing gingivitis – two pretty big reasons in themselves – flossing can brighten teeth and improve their cosmetic appearance.
Dakota Dental works with patients to ensure that they have a perfect smile and healthy teeth. The family dentists at Dakota Dental care about educating their patients about the importance of regular brushing and flossing through their preventative dental care program.
Contact Dakota Dental for more information or to make your next appointment – and don’t forget to floss!