You’re not alone if you don’t keep up your daily flossing routine. Park Slope family dentistry professionals see patients every day who confess that they don’t floss. Surveys suggest that less than half of people floss regularly.

The Importance of Flossing

The American Dental Association recommends flossing daily. Schedule a time to floss when you won’t be rushed and get frustrated. For many people, this would be at the end of the day when you’re brushing your teeth before bed.

Flossing removes bacteria between your teeth. Over time, plague buildup between your teeth and under your gums leads to gum disease. Toothbrushes cannot reach in between your teeth.

If you are just starting your flossing habit, your teeth may bleed a bit. Over time, your gums should become less inflamed and bleeding lessens.

Tricks That Make Flossing Easier

Consider waxed floss that slips more easily between your teeth. You might enjoy a mint-flavored version that leaves your mouth tasting fresh.

If you have dexterity problems, consider dental picks that make it easier to get in between teeth. Some people like interdental brushes. Choose models that slide easily in between your teeth.

Water flossers direct a stream of water towards your gumline. At least one research study suggests that a water flosser can be as effective as a manual flosser.  However, they are more expensive and more difficult to use while traveling.

Floss threaders make it easier to get string floss around braces, bridges, and permanent retainers.

If it’s extremely difficult to get floss in between your teeth, consult with your dentist.  Sometimes dentists can widen spaces in between teeth to make your oral care routine easier.

In order to prevent gum disease and cavities, follow the oral care routine recommended by your dentist. If you’re having difficulty flossing, ask your dentist if an alternative product might work better for you.