We get it. You HATE flossing. It hurts. It takes too much time. And the Associated Press said we don’t have to do it.
But there’s still a case to be made for flossing. Flossing removes plaque from 40% of your tooth surfaces, helping prevent gum disease and cavities.
This healthy habit doesn’t have to be a chore. Here are 5 easy ways to become a habitual flosser:
1. Make it part of your routine.
We thrive off routine. The more we introduce something in our lives, the more inclined we feel to do it. So force flossing into your day-to-day.
Is it not enough to keep your floss by your toothbrush? Try incorporating it into a different part of your day: when you’re getting ready for work, while watching TV, or even when you’re stuck in traffic.
2. Focus on the “feel good.”
Flossing CAN feel good! Dislodging food from between the teeth or scraping off a big chunk of plaque can provide relief and leave your teeth feeling super clean.
3. Find the right floss.
The most effective type of floss is the one you’re most likely to use. If your gums are on the sensitive side, try waxed floss that’s a little wider. Also, consider finding a flavor you enjoy!
4. Be held accountable.
If it’s not enough for you to motivate yourself, have your partner or roommate remind you and encourage your new habit. Have kids? Brush and floss with them! Not only will you be teaching them good oral habits, you’ll also feel encouraged to set a good example.
5. Consider an alternative.
If you really can’t stand the stringy stuff, try a flossing alternative. Tools like a water flosser can be just as effective as flossing and may not cause you so much distress.
Remember: Bleeding and sensitive gums can be a sign of gum disease. Talk to your dentist about prevention and treatment.