Did you know that people who floss at least once per day can increase their life expectancy by 6.5 years? It is true. Studies have shown that bacteria from your mouth caused by gum disease can move into your bloodstream, increasing the risk for heart disease and other health conditions. The space between your teeth is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, to ensure a healthy mouth/healthy body you must floss everyday.
Patients have asked us – when is the best time to floss, before or after brushing your teeth? The answer is, whatever works best. The only right answer is just FLOSS. Initially, gums can be a little sensitive to flossing but should become use to flossing in no time. If gums continue to be painful, you might be flossing a little too hard. It is important to apply just the right pressure to grab the food but leave the gum tissue.
There are many products on the market for flossing. Besides traditional waxed or unwaxed floss, there are flossers; these are handy, pre-threaded, y-shaped tools that slip in between each tooth, and might be easier for kids transitioning to flossing themselves. Another great tool is water irrigation systems. This is an electronic device that uses water pressure to go between teeth. Water Pik® is a brand most typically associated with water irrigation. This device is an investment, but if your kids have braces, it is a dream.
Children under the age of 11 will have a difficult time with flossing because of their limited dexterity. Parents, it is up to you to make sure your children have flossed teeth. Creating healthy habits at a young age will likely continue through adulthood.