Flossing! So simple, yet so difficult for many people to stick to! Most people won't skip a toothbrushing session, even when they are pushed for time. Flossing takes less than 60 seconds (unless you are navigating the treacherous flossing territory of braces), yet it is often thrown to the wayside. Don't dread it, don't skip it, just take a few simple steps to switch up your routine and you'll be flossing like a boss in no time!
- Find a floss that you actually like! Hands down, the most common flossing frustrations we hear about are issues with floss tearing, shredding, or not fitting in the spaces between teeth. Standard waxed, round string floss can be fantastic, but it isn't always the best fit (pun definitely intended). Floss comes in several different shapes and sizes. Floss string can be made of nylon (most common), silk, or plastic. It can be rounded, braided, or flat like a ribbon. Floss can be unwaxed, waxed, and/or coated in Teflon, essential oils, or fluoride. SO many options!
- Most shredding, tearing, and tightness issues can be fixed by switching to a flat ribbon nylon floss. Many ribbon flosses are also Teflon coated which will allow for the strongest, smoothest option. Crest (Glide) and Colgate both make popular ribbon floss.
- Thicker floss, such as dental tape or braided options, will often be the most effective around implants and bridges that have significant space around them. These flosses are also helpful when larger gaps between teeth are present. Johnson and Johnson (Reach) and Oral B Superfloss are both options for larger spaces.
- If you are looking for a natural/chemical free version but still want soemthing that is easy to use, give the Spry or Hello products a try. Both use natural ingredients and offer options with xylitol coatings to prevent cavities.
- Don't shy away from using more than one type of floss. Sometimes a combo is the best plan.
- Floss in the shower! Switching up when and where you floss can make a huge difference. If you wait until right before you go to bed, you are much more likely to skip it. Research shows that flossing at least once every 24 hours is key. The time of day or sequence in which you floss/brush doesn't matter as much. Move your oral hygiene routine to the shower and watch your floss boss skills come alive!
- Bring on the tools and gadgets! Some people are motivated by a new gadget and some people just need a little help getting to the hard to reach areas. Floss holders or floss sticks can make flossing so much easier for people with dexterity issues, large hands, or just a simple lack of motivation. Even disposable floss sticks can be rinsed off and reused (just like a toothbrush) several times before they break. Using floss threaders or Superfloss (floss with a threader already attached) is necessary around almost all bridges and braces. Reusing gadgets will be easier on your pocketbook and the environment.
The floss aisle can be overwhelming! Sometimes you need more than one type to fit all of your needs. Don't fret! Your dentist and dental hygienist will gladly help you navigate options before you go. Once you have chatted about options, there is only one way to find your perfect match. Yep, you've guessed it! Get crazy...hit up the floss aisle, binge watch something amazing on Netflix, eat all of the movie snacks, and go to town! See what feels good, what doesn't work, and what you definitely can't live without. Floss Boss status achieved.