Daily brushing is essential for maintaining proper oral hygiene. But brushing alone isn’t enough… there’s no substitute for flossing your teeth. Many believe that if they use a mouthwash after brushing there’s no need to floss. While mouthwash is great, it can’t get little pieces of food and gunk out from deep between your teeth in the way that flossing can.
As a wise dentist once said:
“Floss the teeth you want to keep.” ~dentist, quoted by Nick Crocker
If you aren’t a regular flosser you’ll likely expereince a bit of discomfort and bleeding when you’re first starting out. This is fairly normal, and generally gets better over a short period (if it doesn’t, be sure to schedule an appointment with a local dentist!). After a week or so of daily flossing, you should notice your teeth start to feel cleaner.
In order to build this habit, there are a few tricks you can test out and see if any of them work for you:
Anchor: Add a new habit to an old one. In this case, brushing your teeth is (hopefully!) a daily habit you perform in the morning and evening. At night when you brush your teeth, start flossing right before or after you brush. Do this consciously for long enough (scientist claim it take 66 days to form a new habit) and you’ll eventually start to do it without thinking about it.
The One-Tooth Method: Start by flossing just one tooth. The logic behind this is that it’s so simple to do, it’s almost more difficult to not do it. After a day or two, floss two teeth. Then three, four, and eventually all of them each time. You’ll realize it doesn’t take much time or effort, and instill the habit in the process.
Keep Tabs: Every day you floss, mark it on your calendar with an ‘X’ or a smiley face. Try and get to the point where there’s more marks on the calendar than not on any given month!
Try out the above techniques and see which of them work for you. And be sure to schedule regular appointments with your local dentist to keep that smile healthy and beautiful! If you’re looking for a dentist in the San Marcos area, give us a call–we’d love to hear from you and discuss your needs!