Flossing is an oral hygiene practice that we know we are supposed to do. Most of us learned this growing up, and have a deep-seated voice in our head, maybe one that sounds like an old dentist or parent, that says “remember to floss, now.” Still, research shows that up to 80% of all adults will develop gum disease. As many as a quarter of older adults will lose all of their teeth sometime during their seventies. These are alarming statistics for all the knowledge we seem to have about flossing. So, perhaps, the issue isn’t awareness, but practice.
The Problem with Flossing
We hate to say there is a problem with flossing because we know that this practice is a major way to promote healthy teeth and gums. Patients who visit our Shakopee practice, especially for gum disease treatment, are encouraged to make flossing a regular part of their daily routine. Just a few minutes spent each night is all it takes, so what’s the problem? The problem is a large percentage of people just don’t do it.
Manual flossing can be particularly challenging for individuals who suffer stiffness of pain in the hands and fingers. People of all ages may wear braces, too, another obstacle to the brushing and flossing game. When faced with the challenge of dexterity or dental fixtures, or even of time and convenience, what often happens is that flossing gets forgotten.
Consider a Different Approach
Clearly, there are some pretty steep consequences to dropping the floss from an oral care routine. Rather than forget time and time again, or believe that you will “do it later,” consider changing your approach to flossing. Try water instead of thread.
You may have heard of the Waterpik, an oral irrigation product made for ease of use. The way that the average oral irrigator works is by removing debris with pressurized water. Water takes the place of the string of floss. The pressure added to the stream of water can be adjusted to reach the right force for individual use, and the process may even be maximized with a few drops of an appropriate essential oil or anti-bacteria oral solution.
Is a Waterpik always a good alternative to flossing? Perhaps not. However, for the person who has great difficulty with the recommended task, it provides a solution to support a healthier smile. Would you like to know more about how to prevent gum disease and other dental conditions? Schedule your visit with our friendly team at (952)-445-6657.