Don’t Forget To Floss.
Don't forget to floss 
by Dr. Patel

It's an activity almost no one enjoys, yet is so important when it comes to staying on top of your oral health.

Flossing:  It can be awkward, difficult, time-consuming or maybe you just don't understand the importance of it, but it's an essential part of your daily cleaning routine.

Just the Facts:  Floss at least once a day to achieve optimal oral health.  Daily flossing helps remove plaque from the areas between your teeth where the toothbrush can't reach, which is important because plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into calculus or tartar.  Flossing also helps prevent gum disease and cavities.

REMEMBER:  NOTHING ELSE YOU CAN DO TAKES THE PLACE OF FLOSSING.  NOT TOOTHPICKS, NOT CHEWING GUM, NOT EVEN MOUTHWASH.

Getting it done:  Try to make flossing a priority in your daily life.  It makes no difference when you floss--pick a time of day when you can devote an extra couple of minutes to your oral hygiene.  And it's just not adults who need to floss--children should be having their teeth flossed by an adult as soon as they have 2 teeth that touch.

Flossing should not be painful with normal, healthy gums.  You may feel discomfort when you first start flossing, but don't give up.  That discomfort should ease within a week or two.  If your pain persists, talk to your dentist.

If you find flossing difficult, consider a different flossing method.  People who have difficulty handling dental floss may prefer to use another kind of device such as a wooden plaque remover, dental pick or pre-threaded flosser.  Ask your dentist how to use them properly to avoid injuring your gums.  You may simply need to try another type of dental floss--waxed, unwaxed, thick or comfort floss.  Stick with it and you'll have adopted a health habit for life!