Why Does My Dentist Insist I Floss?

By June 18, 2014 August 26th, 2015 Dental Health, Flossing, healthy teeth
Of all the steps we can take to keep our mouths clean and healthy, flossing is the one aspect most of us have problems with. As dentists, we do everything we can to encourage you to floss regularly, but we know many have problems with it.

Only around 49% of Americans floss regularly. Around 10% of people never floss. So what’s the problem?

The problem is that not flossing can elevate the risk of gum disease by quite a margin. Dental plaque attaches itself to the tiny gaps between the teeth and then breed. Regular brushing cannot remove plaque, only flossing can. That’s why it’s so important and why all dentists will insist you floss.

There are four main reasons we hear for not flossing.

  1. Food doesn’t get caught between my teeth
  2. I don’t know how to floss
  3. I can’t do it properly
  4. It hurts

Let’s take a look at each.

Food doesn’t get caught between my teeth

Flossing isn’t about removing food. It’s about removing dental plaque. It is this dental plaque that causes gum disease, which leads on to other dental complications. So it doesn’t matter whether you get food caught or not, bacteria will live there anyway and you have to remove it.

I don’t know how to floss

We will freely admit that flossing isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it is possible with practice. The American Dental Association provides lots of information on how to floss. If you’re really stuck, ask us when you come in for a checkup and we can go through it with you. We will gladly personally instruct you step by step how to properly floss your teeth.

I can’t do it properly

There are many reasons why one cannot floss properly. It may be simply big hands or something more complicated like limited movement or disability. However, there are flossing tools around that can help. For example, a simple floss holder can make all the difference.

It hurts when I floss

If it hurts when you floss you’re doing it wrong. If flossing is painful, you may well already have gum disease, which flossing is designed to prevent. If it hurts to floss, make an appointment at our dental office for us to take a look. A little bleeding at first is normal until your gums get used to it. Anything other than that, is likely more serious and you should come and see us so we can help you solve that problem.

If you need help flossing or with any aspect of oral health, visit us at Aesthetic Family Dentistry today!

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