Curious about what patients lie to their dentists about most? You guessed it: flossing. In fact, one national survey focused on this topic found that 27 percent of adults lie to their dentist about how often they floss their teeth. This same survey also found that more than a third of respondents would rather do unpleasant chores such as cleaning the toilet or sitting in traffic than simply floss their teeth.
Why do we hate flossing so much? For some, it may be uncomfortable and make gums sore if you haven’t been flossing regularly. It could even make gums bleed. If this occurs it’s important to schedule an appointment with your dentist, as gum disease may be starting to affect your oral health from lack of flossing.
Proper flossing should not be painful or cause bleeding. Your dental provider can help show you exactly how to floss effectively and safely. Others report hating it because there’s no immediate payoff. When you brush your teeth, they feel immediately cleaner; when you use mouthwash, your breath feels immediately fresher. With flossing, there’s less instant gratification.
If you really hate flossing but want to have healthy gums, try some of these:
Powered by electricity, these flossing alternatives shoot a thin stream of water between teeth to help remove food particles and plaque. They’re also known as water flossers or water piks.
Very similar to the water irrigators mentioned above, these floss alternatives use a powerful stream of air instead of water to clean between teeth.
If you have very tightly spaced teeth, this option may not be best for you, but if you have a little room to work, interdental brushes can be effective to help protect teeth from gingivitis by keeping gums free of food particles and plaque.
The most important part of flossing is not necessarily what tool you use, it’s your consistency. The first 10 days can be a challenge but once you make it through those, this habit is one that can save your teeth and keep your smile healthy and white.
For more information about flossing, call us today at 541-382-6565.