The Dentist From a Child' Point of View

Strategies To Help You Remember To Floss

Everyone knows that flossing is an important part of good oral hygiene. Why, then, do only about half of American adults remember to floss every day? For many people who fall into the non-flossing camp, the reason they don't floss is simply that they forget, or don't feel they have the time to floss.

Neglecting to floss your teeth is no laughing matter. It will likely lead to cavity formation between your teeth, and in some cases, severe tooth decay and tooth loss down the road. Flossing is also essential for keeping your gums healthy. It removes the bacteria that cause gum disease from between your teeth, so you don't end up with saggy, swollen gums. Today is the day to make a change: start flossing once every single day. Here are a few strategies to help you do so.

Keep floss in your car.

If you're often in a rush in the morning and forget to floss, try keeping floss in your car. Put it somewhere conspicuous so that you see it, such as in your front cup holder or tucked into your visor. Then, when you jump into the car and see the floss, you'll suddenly remember you forget to floss and can do it right then. Please, don't floss while driving—wait until you've pulled into work or are at least waiting at a red light.

Make flossing a family event.

There is always support in numbers. If you live with kids or a partner, have a discussion about the importance of flossing, and then make the decision to work together on flossing daily. Set aside a few minutes every morning to floss together after everyone has brushed their teeth. As long as one person remembers to floss, he or she can remind the rest of you.

Set a reminder in your phone.

The idea of setting a reminder in your phone so you don't forget to floss may sound silly at first, but it's certainly effective. The first few days, you might be annoyed when the alarm rings as you're scurrying around to get ready for work, but you'll remember to floss. Perhaps eventually you'll get so annoyed with the alarm that you'll start remembering to floss after brushing your teeth every time, just so you can turn the alarm off that day.

Brushing your teeth is certainly important for avoiding gum disease and tooth decay, but on its own, brushing is not enough. Those who also floss regularly have fewer instances of gum disease and tooth decay than those who only brush. Adopt one or more of the habits above, and become a regular flosser, starting today. It's a change that both you and your dentist will notice.