Flossing flossing flossing… the pain of my life!
How many times has your dentist told you- you need to floss more and yet somehow you just don’t find the time or the inclination.
Why does it need me saying to a patient, “Now you have 8 teeth with early dental decay (just in the enamel layer) and these are all going to need filling if something doesn’t change. I mean flossing- YES every single day and getting some extra fluoride in there”.
The fear of the cost and multiple dental visits; time, inconvenience, injections- is usually enough to make patients floss as routinely as they should have done in the first place (but not always). Some people are simply too lazy or just don't care enough to do it. I have a written a chapter on changing oral habits
for these people and crazy as it sounds, the dedication of flossing every night is an amazing metaphor for life.
had come in a year or two down the line, it may have been a very different story with those 8 teeth and too late to adopt a 'watch and wait' approach… The dental caries
may have progressed to dentine in 7 of the teeth, meaning 7 fillings
were needed and one could have gone even further into the nerve and now needs a root canal treatment
. Not what you want to hear is it? Ask yourself, is it worth the risk?
In addition to flossing, extra fluoride
and reducing the amount of sugar in the diet
would be needed to turn this around. But without regular dental visits and screening X-rays
at appropriate intervals, it wouldn’t have been picked up until even later and this would have meant further problems and more complex work.
If you floss occasionally, you never really reap the benefits i.e. once a week or less. By this I mean you never get good enough at it, so that it's fast, painless, without bleeding. The effect at reducing interproximal caries, (decay in between your teeth) is very minimal unless you floss virtually every day.
So here’s the deal… the seven day flossing challenge. (dramatic music playing...)
Are you man (or woman) enough to commit for the sake of your teeth, bank balance and general health to Flossing EVERY night for one whole week.
Honestly, as pathetically easy as this sounds, I would guarantee that only 1 in 5 of you who attempt it, will actually do it... Try it, prove me wrong :)
By the end of the flossing challenge you will:
- Have much sweeter smelling floss after you have flossed
- The bleeding will have stopped
- It will no longer be painful
- You will be able to do your whole mouth in ¼ of the time it took you to begin with- I reckon it takes me no more than a minute to do my whole mouth.
These are the biggest obstacles to overcome with flossing and successfully completing 'the challenge' allows you conquer them in a single week. If you gums could speak they would crying out 'Thank You Master.... THANK YOU!'