The Importance of Flossing
By John Leitner DDS
April 04, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: flossing  

A comedian once quipped "I know how hard it is to quit smoking; it's as hard as it is to start flossing!" Brushing our teeth has been a flossinghabit since childhood; we know to do it each morning and night, and between meals sometimes. But why is it so difficult to start flossing? Dr. John Leitner, your general dentist in Grand Haven, MI, believes that educating patients is the key to helping them make good decisions about their dental care. Here, he explains the importance of flossing each day.

Why is flossing important?

It may seem like brushing your teeth is enough to keep them clean. However, the bristles of a toothbrush can often miss the spaces in between teeth, allowing plaque to collect in these tiny crevices. It only takes about 24 hours before plaque begins to harden into tartar, a chalky substance that contains harmful bacteria that attacks the gum tissue and enamel on the teeth. Without the intervention of a dental hygienist at your Grand Haven general dentist's office to remove this tartar, it can advance into serious gum disease and tooth loss.

I can never remember to floss!

This is a comment we hear frequently from our patients at Dr. John Leitner's dental office. Your Grand Haven general dentist has a few tips for those who can't seem to get into the habit of flossing.

  • Choose a time that's convenient for you. It doesn't matter what time of the day you floss; the most important thing is to do it daily to break up the plaque formations.
  • Carry floss with you. Don't confine your flossing to the bathroom. While the spool floss can be unwieldy, flossing picks are easy to stash in a pocket or purse, or next to your bed to use at night while unwinding.
  • Check it off. Make a notation in your digital or paper calendar for every day you floss. This visual reminder can motivate you to keep going and turn flossing into a habit.

If you'd like more information on the best flossing techniques or any other dental care procedure, contact the office of Dr. John Leitner, your general dentist in Grand Haven, MI.