Flossing is the simple act of using dental wax between each of your teeth. The idea is that by doing this, you’re reducing plaque that could build up to become something worse. It also helps with preventing gum disease, because while you may brush thoroughly, there are still places you can’t reach with a toothbrush. In addition, if you’re a fan of popcorn or sticky things, flossing helps get those pieces out of your teeth before they can cause any lasting damage. Last but not least, your breath will smell better!
The American Dental Association recommends flossing once a day. Maybe you’re one of those people who starts with good intentions, but it falls by the wayside fairly quickly. It can be a pain, especially if the gaps between your teeth feel too narrow for floss or if you wear a retainer. Of course, some people give up as soon as they see a little blood, and the cycle continues! There is special-made floss for “tight spaces,” in addition to a variety of flossing options. Some people prefer flossing picks, which are plastic with a loop of dental wax on top; it makes it easier to reach hard spots. Unfortunately, though, if you’re one of those people who bleeds — you just need to keep it up. Use floss made for sensitive teeth and gums, and make sure you talk to your dentist about it.
Overall, it’s about dental health. Even though you may not like flossing or find it hard to do, it’s a lot better to learn how to floss than it is to suffer through gum disease and expensive procedures. Dentists and hygienists are happy to walk you through flossing your teeth, and give away free dental wax in their bags 90% of the time. Set a reminder on your phone and floss every day!