It’s almost the new year, which means it’s time to start thinking about those resolutions and building healthy habits for 2020. Maybe you want to hit the gym more often. Maybe you want to read more books. Maybe you keep meaning to floss more, but you always seem to misplace your dental floss. That’s why we have written this guide on how to get you more into the habit of flossing ahead of 2020.
1. Find the Right Floss for Your Teeth
While it might seem like there’s just the standard floss out there, that’s actually far form the truth. For example, if your teeth are very close together, fine floss might help clean the space between them. Floss can even come in different flavors to make the habit more enjoyable.
2. Use the Correct Technique
You might be tempted to just search “what is the best way to floss my teeth?” but you might get all sorts of conflicting answers. Take this tried-and-true method from your dentist:
- Pull out a piece of dental floss that’s about 18 inches long.
- Wind it around the middle fingers of both hands.
- Pinch the floss between your first fingers and thumbs, leaving a couple inches free between your hands.
- Pull the floss tight.
- Use your index fingers to guide the floss between two of your teeth, gently sliding back and forth.
- Wrap the floss around each tooth, sliding to the gumline.
- Repeat until you’ve flossed all the spaces between your teeth and behind your molars.
3. Try Water Flossing
Also known as a waterpik, water flossing involves a handheld appliance that shoots a steady stream of water between your teeth to flush out any debris. Many people use this as an alternative to traditional flossing.
4. Set Reminders
If you struggle to remember to floss, try setting a reminder on your phone right before bedtime. Alternatively, you could place your floss on your pillow so that you can’t go to bed without being reminded to floss.
5. Stick with It
When you first start flossing, your gums might be sensitive or even bleed, but power through it. After a few days to a couple weeks, these problems should be gone. Moreover, you’ll soon start to feel gross if you go a day without flossing.
6. Keep Track of Your Progress
Mark on your calendar the day you started flossing. Then, at your next dental checkup, ask how your amount of plaque compares to previous visits. You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised at the results!
Flossing is quite an admirable New Year’s resolution. Follow these habits to make it not just a resolution, but a lifelong habit.
About the Author
Dr. Clarene Green Hightower is a graduate of Howard University’s College of Dentistry. She has had years of working in pediatric dentistry, so she welcomes families to her practice, Ambiance Dental Spa in Bowie, MD. She believes that when it comes to dental care, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Flossing is a great way to keep all kinds of oral health issues like gum disease at bay. To learn more about how best to implement flossing into your daily life, you can contact Dr. Hightower at (301) 262-2624.