Flossing is not most people’s favorite activity. In fact, according to the American Dental Association, only four out of 10 Americans floss at least once a day—and 20% never floss at all. To create healthy habits that promote a healthy smile, you want to maintain a consistent flossing routine. Here are some helpful tips from Dakota Dental to ensure you reap the benefits of flossing and that you don’t forget to take care of your teeth.
How to Make Flossing a Habit
- Keep Floss Visible. Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of forgetting! By placing your floss by your toothbrush, it’ll serve as a simple reminder to take an extra couple of minutes to clean between your teeth. You can also carry travel floss in your purse or stock them in your desk drawer, so they’re handy if you feel like flossing midday.
- Keep It Consistent. By aiming to floss at the same time in the morning and/or the evening, you’ll start to create a habit. You can help yourself accomplish this goal by setting an alarm on your phone or tracking off days on a calendar nearby!
- Make It Musical. While you floss, play one of your favorite tunes. This could be a pump up jam in the morning or a soothing song as your day winds down. By giving your ears a little treat, you’ll be more inclined to spend extra time on your dental routine!
- Make Brushing a Family Event. To ensure your kids are also maintaining habits that promote healthy teeth, make it a group activity. If you have younger children, brush your teeth alongside them to show your kids that you brush and floss your teeth, too.
- Try It Handled. The mechanics of flossing can sometimes be tricky or difficult to manage. A flossing stick allows you to floss one-handed, making the whole process easier (and potentially faster!). Want another way to switch things up? Try a mint-flavored floss or a smooth floss and see if you can tell the difference.
- Track Your Progress: If you are a competitive person, setting up a goal chart to floss every day just may be the motivation you need! You could even make a chart to have everyone in the family track their progress and see who can consistently floss every day. First person to floss every day for a month gets a prize.
- What Does Flossing Do? Once you know the benefits of flossing, you’ll be more inclined to incorporate it into your routine. Benefits of flossing include:
– Removing stubborn bits of food that your toothbrush can’t reach.
– Reducing the risk of cavities.
– Preventing gingivitis and other gum diseases.
– Eliminating bad breath!
- Don’t Give Up. If you don’t immediately succeed at creating a daily flossing routine, don’t give up. Any time you floss is better than skipping it. If flossing every single day is too much, set up a goal to floss once a week. Once you’re flossing weekly, we have a suspicion you’ll want that fresh feeling more often!
Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Floss
Great question! We get this a lot. Gum bleeds during flossing can occur for a few different reasons. You might:
- Be new to flossing! Keep going for a week – the bleeding should stop.
- Be flossing a bit too hard — try being a little gentler.
- Have plaque or tartar build up. Go ahead and visit the dentist to see what’s going on.
- Have inflamed gums, a side effect of gingivitis or a more severe version known as periodontitis. This is another instance where you’ll want to visit the dentist. We can offer advice on how to deal with gum disease.
Need Help With Flossing?
At Dakota Dental, we are here to take care of every aspect of your teeth. If you’re due for a cleaning, have questions about creating a flossing routine, or are dealing with bleeding gums, request an appointment. We’ll take a look at what’s going on – we can even teach you how to floss properly! Together, we can work to keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong.