5 Strategies to Make Flossing Easy
I don’t know what it is about flossing, but of all the things I ask my patients to do to keep their teeth healthy, white and strong; flossing is the one they struggle with the most. Ironically, it is the one that takes the least amount of time to do and has the biggest impact for a healthy mouth. If you want your teeth to last a lifetime, there is no getting around it; you have to floss.
Why is flossing so important? Flossing removes food and food particles that get stuck on and between your teeth, and it reaches places that brushing cannot reach. Flossing removes plaque from tight spaces between the teeth and under the gums and prevents cavities and decay. Also, flossing keeps your mouth healthy preventing bacteria from getting into your bloodstream. Flossing is not only important for your dental health, and it is essential for your overall health.
So if flossing is so important, why do we struggle so much with making the time and effort to do it? Well, I think it is because we make it a bigger deal then it is. Often patients tell me they don’t have time; they are not good at it, or they simply forget. And I get it, I mean the last thing that any of us need is one more thing on our to-do list right?
But honestly, flossing is not only simple, easy and quick; it also has a huge return on investment. I mean what else you can do for a few minutes each and every day that is going to yield you a return on investment that will save you time, money and keep you healthy and happy? Yes, flossing will do all of that and more.
Here are my 5 Strategies to Make Flossing Easy:
1. Don’t Wait – yes it is best to floss before you go to bed, but hey if that is not working for you don’t wait. Many of my patients say they are too tired at bedtime, and it is all they can do to brush their teeth. So if that describes you – don’t wait. Floss your teeth after breakfast, before lunch, or whenever works for you.
2. Downtime – you need to keep floss in your car, in your toolkit, or in your purse. Having floss readily available means you can use can floss when you have a minute. Instead of checking your cell phone when you are stuck in traffic, use that opportunity to floss your teeth. You will be getting something done while keeping your eyes on the road.
3. Routine – it takes just thirty days to make something a habit, so for thirty days work flossing into your routine. My mother-in-law used to stand on one foot for thirty seconds to improve her balance, so to improve her routine she worked in flossing and brushing her teeth. She put three things together, established a routine, and created a healthier lifestyle.
4. Game – if you are the competitive type then making a game out of flossing is an excellent idea. Challenge your spouse, best friend or better yet, one of your kids to a 60-day flossing challenge.
5. Reward – last but not least, while flossing is reward in and of itself (less dental problem, emergencies and healthy, white smile) commit to flossing then when you do it, reward yourself with a treat. No, not candy! Instead, a book you love a movie, a trip to the spa or a sporting event. Just anything that will keep you motivated and committed.
There you have it, no more excuses; these are five easy strategies to ensure that you floss and that you stick to it. My goal as a dentist is to make sure that you understand just how much control you have over keeping your teeth healthy, white and strong. Also, I want you to know how important your dental health is to your overall health. Try these five strategies, and watch as you reap the rewards of healthy teeth and gums.
To learn more about your dental health and other proactive dental techniques, visit our website www.ashevilledentalcare.com or give us a call 828-274-3882.