Dental floss helps to prevent cavities and gum disease by removing pieces of food and plaque from between your teeth. It’s usually made of nylon or soft plastic and should be used daily.
Reason # 5: You’ll feel virtuous.
Let’s face it, flossing is one of those things your mother and your dentist might nag you about. Even if it seems like a small thing, flossing daily will make you feel better about yourself. You’re a person who flosses! You’re one of those “got it all together” people. You know those people: they floss daily, they flip their mattresses quarterly, they get an annual physical and clean out their rain gutters. You used to envy those people, now you are one of those people! Flossing your teeth daily takes about 1 minute of your time, and you’ll feel virtuous when you’ve made it a daily habit.
Reason # 4. Dental plaque is made of bacteria.
Number 4 is for the squeamish people out there, and the OCD types. Dental plaque causes cavities, and it’s made up of millions of tiny bacteria. Imagine that! Millions of little microscopic critters having a hoe-down in-between your teeth. Growing and partying in their sticky little way, all over your mouth.. Eeeewwwww! Wrap about 18 inches of floss between your thumbs and forefingers, leaving about 1 to 2 inches for use. Pull it tight, insert it between two teeth, and get that nasty, sticky, bacteria-filled plaque outta there!
Reason # 3. There are lots of floss options on the market these days.
For some people, properly holding the floss is difficult. Luckily, there are about a bajillion and one alternatives available at your local drugstore. The most common are floss ‘sticks’ and interdental cleaning devices. Floss sticks are small plastic handles with a short piece of floss suspended between the ends. They can be especially useful for people whose teeth are very close together. Interdental cleaning devices come in many shapes and sizes but a common type is essentially a tiny pipe cleaner that fits into the spaces between teeth.
Reason # 2. You can make up great war stories about flossing.
Reason number two is for the tough guys out there. Fancy yourself as tough as an action movie hero or heroine? Fine, big guy. If you’re flossing for the first time – or the first time in a long time – it’s normal to see a little blood around your gum line during or after flossing. Be persistent over several days, and be gentle. You can tell tall tales of your flossing adventures, complete with gruesome exaggerations of your bleeding mouth – and your tough-guy, devil-may-care disdain for a little blood. (But, if you still have bleeding after several days of regular flossing, contact your dentist promptly.)
Reason # 1. Gum disease might be a lot worse than we think.
Researchers are currently looking at possible connections between gum disease and an increased risk of stroke, premature births, diabetes, respiratory diseases and heart disease. Though there’s nothing conclusive just yet, adding 1 minute of flossing to your daily routine is a lot faster, cheaper and easier to deal with than any of the diseases on this list!