We have all done it. Told our Dental Hygienist that we promise to floss more. Or that we KNOW we need to do it. Some of your have even had patients tell us they are going to make it their new year’s resolution for 2013! So, is flossing more often your 2013 resolution? Flossing helps to prevent tooth decay between your teeth and helps prevent gum diseases like gingivitis, or the more serious periodontal disease. Here are some tips that might help you make your Dental Hygienists dream come true:
1. Determine your barrier by answering this question: What is stopping you from flossing as much as you should?
*”I don”t have enough time”: Put the floss in your car and floss at stop lights. Put some in your desk at work or next to your favorite recliner. It’s easy to multitask.
*”I am too tired by the time I remember at night”: Do it any time of day, even if not in conjunction with brushing. Any flossing is better than none.
*”I forget”: Technology leaves little room for excuses. There are even floss reminder Apps. You can set an alarm on your cell phone to remind you. Or, tie it to your toothbrush. No getting around that!
*”Ugg, I just hate it!”: There are alternatives you can use to make it easier. A floss holder, Waterpik or other inter-dental device like a Softpik are great options as well. Ask your Dental Hygienist for product options at your next check up. Trust me, she will be glad you asked 😉
2. Set a realistic goal for yourself:
*It is not realistic for you to go from zero flossing, to daily flossing. So, start out slow. If you never floss, start with 2 times weekly for the first 3 months. Then, increase to 3-4 times weekly until you reach your next 6 month visit. If you floss 2 times weekly, increase to 4 times weekly. Take it one step forward at a time.
*Choose your flossing days ahead of time. Example: commit to flossing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you don’t choose days, you will talk yourself into “flossing tomorrow” until tomorrow never comes. Choosing these days and staying committed to them will give you a better chance at being successful.
3. Remember the risks and find motivation in them:
*Periodontal disease causes inflammation, bleeding, bone loss, bad breath and even eventually loss of teeth.
*Periodontal disease has been linked to many health issues like cardiac conditions, diabetes, and even Alzheimer disease.
Remember, preventative care is the easiest and most reasonably priced dental care you can get. Best of luck on all of your new year’s resolutions and we wish you a happy, healthy, cavity free 2013.