Dentists are pretty much unified on the dental care routine you should be following, and a big part of that is flossing. While most people manage to maintain the habit of brushing twice daily, using floss sometimes goes forgotten, despite its importance.
On top of all the people who regularly forget to floss, there are those who have difficulty doing it for one reason or another. If you're someone who struggles to floss, here are some suggestions for ways around specific problems and some alternatives you might find easier.
If you have large hands, a small mouth, or both, you might find it difficult to get in there to floss properly. In this instance, a good alternative is to buy some angled flossers. These small pieces of plastic hold a piece of floss with a narrow handle, which can help you if you can't fit your hand or fingers in your mouth.
Can't get floss between teeth
When teeth are particularly close together, it can be difficult to get the floss between them at all, and you might find that it tears if you do manage it. First of all, look at the different types of floss available and try some new ones. You might find a particularly thin one or a dental tape that you're able to use.
Alternatively, you could invest in a water pick. Some evidence suggests that this is almost as effective as flossing, particularly if you use it with a good quality mouthwash instead of plain water.
Difficulty with manual dexterity
Some people, due to a disability or illness, have difficulty using floss because they struggle with fiddly tasks in general. If this is you, you might find a water pick easier to use, as it has a large handle like an electric toothbrush and you don't need to keep your hands as still.
You should also talk to a dentist or dental hygienist, who might be able to arrange extra cleaning sessions and offer other advice to help you.
Floss isn't available
Some form of dental floss is available in most places in the world, but if you live somewhere you just can't get hold of it – or you're travelling to one of these places – make sure you brush thoroughly. It's also a good idea to use mouthwash each time you brush, and chew some sugar-free gum after each meal in order to stimulate saliva production.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved stories about the past. Whether the stories were about horses, wars, exploration or even dentistry, I loved to hear them. I find that knowing the history of something helps it to make sense and feel approachable. I know that some people have dental anxiety, and I too have suffered, but I also feel like the more you know about dental work and its history, the easier it is. This blog is dedicated to exploring the history of dentistry – What did ancient people use for fillings? How did early dentists numb their patients? Who was the first dentist? Those are just some of the questions I plan to answer here. Ready? Okay, let's dive into the history of dentistry together!