Most patients will either find excuses not to start flossing their teeth or see it as a very inconvenient process. Most dentists like to think this is a part of everyone’s morning and nightly routines, but this is usually pushed aside. Most dentists would say there are convenient ways to floss to address any excuse your patients might have. Some patients will only floss right before their dentist appointment and think that is sufficient to prove to their dentist that they do floss – Wrong!
A recent survey found that only 49% of Americans floss daily, and 10% never floss. This statistic is very disappointing to dentists since they believe that flossing is more important than brushing.
Flossing is the number one way to help prevent periodontal disease and tooth loss. The number one excuse why your patients do not floss is because they think that the only time you need to floss is if you feel like there is food stuck in between your teeth, this is not true. The main reason you floss is to remove plaque, which causes tooth decay, inflamed gums, periodontal disease, and eventually, tooth loss.
A lot of patients will claim that they do not know how to floss. Make it part of your patient’s dental exam to show them how to floss their teeth appropriately. Just getting the floss in between the teeth is not the key; you must follow the teeth’ contours and form a C shape once the floss reaches the gum. Do not ignore your back molars; this is where most decay occurs. Daily flossing your teeth will not only give you a beautiful smile but will also help prevent much more serious diseases, some of which can be life-threatening.