According to a recent study, 27 percent of all adults lie to their dentist about their flossing habits. Approximately a third of these people said they would rather do some other type of unpleasant chores, such as washing the dishes or cleaning the toilet over having to floss their teeth.
The question many people wonder is what is so unpleasant about flossing and why are so many Americans lying to their dentists about their flossing frequency?
Only 4 out of 10 People Floss Daily
It has also been recently discovered that only four out of 10 Americans floss on a daily basis. Also, only about 20 percent of Americans never bother to floss at all. However, according to dentists, this is one of the most important habits to develop. The benefits of regular flossing are undeniable. For example, not flossing is one of the main causes of gum disease. If you floss regularly, you can easily avoid developing this oral health issue. If you currently suffer from gum disease and continue to skip flossing, chances are you may experience tooth decay and eventually tooth loss.
Don’t Settle for Flossing Alternatives
Skinny brushes that slip between the teeth, water picks, and toothpicks are considered alternatives to flossing. While these options are better than nothing at all, they are not nearly as effective as traditional dental floss.
Common Excuses Used to Avoid Flossing
Due to this pure hatred of flossing, most adults have more than a few excuses to avoid this activity. One of the most common is that they don’t have time to floss. While it’s best to floss directly after a meal, the majority of dentists agree that flossing frequently is better than not flossing at all. Everyone is busy and chances are you’re pretty good at multitasking. Take advantage of this ability by flossing while doing something else. Chances are, once you start you can get into the habit and routine of flossing regularly.
Another common excuse is that you have teeth that are too close together to floss. For some, this is true. However, there are other options besides unwaxed floss. For example, you may try waxed floss or a floss that has a coating of polytetrafluoroethylene, which is considered “extremely slippery,” making it easier to get into tight spaces.
Brushing and Flossing: A Match Made in Your Mouth
If you are like most people, you don’t go a single day without brushing your teeth. You need to have the same attitude toward flossing. When you floss, at least once a day, you can help remove plaque (which is a sticky, bacteria-laden film) from hard to reach places in your mouth.
You can floss with traditional dental floss or you can use pre-threaded flossers. However, it is best to use one of these options, rather than one of the alternatives listed above. It is extremely important to floss because if plaque isn’t removed by brushing, it may eventually harden and become tartar or calculus. Removal of these substances is only possible by a professional dental cleaning.
Taking Care of Your Oral Health
It is important that you take care of your oral health. Even if you haven’t flossed for years, it is time to make it a habit. Plaque can hide in all the nooks, crannies, and crevices in your mouth, collect below the gum line, develop into tartar, result in inflammation and cause bleeding gums. If you think your gums are bleeding because you are over-flossing, it is important to realize that this isn’t the case. Once you become a “regular flosser” your gums don’t bleed. In fact, the only time this occurs is when you don’t floss regularly.
If you’re interested in learning more about flossing, we recommend you speak with your dentist. They can help you understand what can occur if you don’t do this on a daily basis. It’s also important to continue brushing regularly and visit the dentist for a professional cleaning twice per year.
There is no reason to put your long-term on oral health at risk when you can easily maintain a beautiful, healthy smile by flossing your teeth on a regular basis.