Flossing is among the dental hygiene habits that people struggle with the most. Whether it’s the time involved or just a lack of agility, many avoid it. There are numerous methods to make the whole thing more manageable, and they’re reasonably available. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who find flossing a tricky part of your routine, we can help. Below we’re going to approach some of the alternatives you can use to ensure you floss properly. Without flossing, our teeth are in danger of lasting damage and decay.
How Floss Plays A Role In Battling Tooth Decay
After you’ve finished packing away the dishes, you might consider the meal complete. You’re done eating and have brushed, so all is in order. But is it? If you haven’t flossed, you likely have particles of food debris lodged into your teeth. You may not be able to get at it with a brush, but the bacteria in your mouth can. They’re more than capable of slipping into those hidden spaces and breaking them down. As the bacteria break down your food, they produce acid and a substance known as a biofilm. Most of us just call it plaque or tartar when it hardens.
While it won’t be visible to the naked eye, tooth decay will continue. The bacteria nestled between your teeth will soften the enamel, and erosion can begin. This erosion can mean you’ll develop cavities in places you can’t even see. Brushing for at least two minutes is an effective strategy to keep it at bay, but not alone. Mouthwash and floss are needed to ensure you’ve got it covered.
The consequences of not flossing include:
- Halitosis, or bad breath
- Gums that are tender or swollen
- Cavities forming between your teeth
If the most common method of flossing remains troublesome for you, we have options.
Alternatives To Traditional Flossing
One good thing about flossing is it doesn’t matter when you do it. You just have to make sure you keep up with it at least once a day. For most people, this means sticking to the same time each day. Other factors can further complicate flossing. If you’re traveling or have braces, you may find the process harder. These alternatives approved by the ADA (American Dental Association) can help:
- Interdental Brush: This toothbrush has tiny bristles that are specifically designed for cleaning between your teeth.
- Water Flossing: A unique dental tool that helps eliminate debris from between your teeth. This removal is accomplished using a pressurized stream of water that knocks out debris.
- Pre-Threaded Floss: One struggle many people face is handling floss. They find the process clumsy and hard to manage. Thankfully, pre-threaded floss solves this! It’s pre-threaded and on a convenient handle.
- Soft-Picks by GUM®: Similar to a toothbrush, this soft toothpick is made of plastic. It has special bristles that can clean between your teeth very well.
Have more questions about making flossing a regular part of your oral hygiene? Reach out to your dental provider for guidance. They’ll have lots of tips to ensure you can keep tooth decay at bay.