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5 Ways to Make Flossing Easier (So You'll Actually Do It)

Most of us know that flossing once a day is important for maintaining our oral health. By getting rid of plaque and bacteria in those hard-to-reach spots between teeth and along the gums, flossing greatly reduces the risk of developing gum disease, along with the tooth loss it can cause.

But even though we know flossing is important, far too many of us fail to floss once a day as recommended by the American Dental Association. Worse, many of us skip flossing entirely, at least in part because we haven’t managed to establish a routine flossing habit.

As a leading dental practice in Glendora, California, at Park Place Smiles, we help you improve your at-home oral care routine to support optimal oral health. In this post, Minal Patel, DDS, offers five steps you can take to make your flossing habit easier to establish and maintain.

1. Use the right floss

Floss is available in different varieties, and finding the right variety for your own preferences can make a surprising difference in your flossing routine. 

For instance, if you find it difficult to get floss between your teeth, choose a “flat” floss or a variety that’s waxed. The outer coating makes floss “slicker,” so it slides between your teeth more easily. 

2. Try a flossing pick

If reaching those back teeth is difficult, flossing picks could be the solution you’re looking for. Picks combine a short length of floss with a sturdy plastic handle that makes it easier to reach back teeth and other hard-to-floss areas. It can also be a good choice if you have arthritis or another issue that makes flossing uncomfortable or difficult.

3. Invest in a water flosser

Water flossers use a stream of water to dislodge plaque and food particles between your teeth and around your gums. While a water flosser can be a great add-on to your routine, it works best when used alongside regular floss. 

Avoid using the highest pressure settings to prevent irritating your gums. And be sure to follow the directions for your particular device to reap the most benefits. Adding a little mouthwash to the water reservoir offers a burst of freshness in addition to cleaning benefits.

4. Make flossing as easy as possible

Keep your floss, floss picks, interdental brushes, toothpaste, toothbrush, and water flosser all in one, easy-to-reach location. With all your supplies together, maintaining your oral hygiene habit is a lot easier.

It’s also important to set a routine for flossing. Most people prefer flossing at night when they brush their teeth to get rid of food particles before going to bed. But flossing in the morning or even after lunch is fine, too. Set a time once each day to create a habit that sticks with you.

5. Celebrate your victories

It might sound silly to celebrate flossing, but consider this: Flossing removes plaque that contains bacteria that’s responsible not only for gum disease but has also been implicated in other serious health issues, including heart disease. Your flossing habit doesn’t just preserve your smile: It can help you maintain good health, too.

Developing a new habit is rarely easy. Setting small goals and taking the time to celebrate your successes can give you the added motivation you need to stay on track and reap all the benefits of your new flossing routine.

Gum disease can have serious repercussions, but daily flossing can help, along with regular twice-yearly checkups. If you think you might have gum disease, or if you’re due for a checkup, call 626-226-1802 or book an appointment online with us at Park Place Smiles today.

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