When was the last time you flossed or even thought about flossing?
I know, I know, we keep telling you how essential flossing is. You may also have heard people say that they have never flossed and don’t have any cavities, gum disease or any other dental related issues. Well, there will always be those outliers, those that fall outside of what we consider, “typical.”
Preparing for the future and possessing foresight is not a strength everyone has, but we are on the front lines (so to speak) when it comes to disappointment and regret. We hear it from patients all the time.
“I wish I had taken better care of my teeth”
“I wish I have flossed”
“I wish, I wish…”
Even when the signs of neglect is staring someone right in the face, the insight is not always there. Flossing seems like a simple invitation, but it can be a difficult one for some people to accept regardless of the dental problems they may be facing.
If you are some who is not convinced, we want you to try this test. It’s just a simple test, but the results may just surprise you!
Part 1: Take 5 minutes to thoroughly brush all of your teeth. Do the best job you can then give your mouth a good rinse.
How great do they feel? Does your mouth and teeth feel clean and fresh?
Now try this:
Part 2: Take some floss or use a floss wand, if that easier for you, and floss in between a couple of front teeth then a couple of back molars.
Did you get any plaque or food debris on your teeth? You did? Now, be extra brave and smell what’s on your floss.
Most people will find that they did find some accumulated plaque/food on their floss after such a thorough cleaning and this test demonstrates what you are missing when you just clean your teeth with a toothbrush only.
The Importance of Flossing:
Flossing reaches most of those hard to reach in between the teeth places where your toothbrush can not reach. Even if you are using a toothbrush that is designed to be flexible enough to splay out to reach into these difficult spots, it is just not enough to complete the job! In fact, a toothbrush alone only cleans 60% of your tooth surfaces.
One of our jobs is to elevate your at home habits so that you can have the best chance for a healthy mouth. Flossing is an essential part of your oral hygiene routine and only takes a few extra moments of your time.
We recommend that you floss at least once a day. Bedtime and when you have something stuck between your teeth are the two most common times for flossing. Making it part of your nighttime routine makes the most sense since your saliva flow is greatly reduced during your sleep. Saliva not only helps to remineralize and repair your teeth, but it also helps to wash less stickier debris away from your teeth and keep your gums hydrated.
At Your Smile Dental Care, we are always dealing with the future. We continually make calculated decisions based on the evidence we see now while keeping an eye on the long term benefits of our recommendations.
While the future is hard to predict and we don’t have a crystal ball, we know with certainty that it is neglect that is costly, not dental care.
The Your Smile Dental Care Team