Do You Floss?

runninginplaceJune 7, 2012

Silly question, but recently two separate self-help blogs I read have dedicated a post to the topic of how to help oneself develop the habit of routinely flossing.

I confess I am surprised; I floss my teeth daily-actually several times daily-as part of my usual oral hygiene routine (ie floss/brush/swish some mouthwash) and have been doing it, well, forever. So the blogs got me wondering...doesn't everyone?

Ok, 'fess up if you're not a daily flosser!

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I have finally got myself into the daily flossing habit. I know that it is very important to your overall health, not just your oral health.

"If you don't floss, you're more likely to have plaque build-up, which can lead to cavities, tooth decay and gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can be a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes and a high body mass index. "

Here is a link that might be useful: Flossing benefits

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 7:13PM
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Yes, and like you several times a day. Usually 4 times a day average. I'm not O/C or anything, I just really like the feel of my mouth after flossing and know it's helping me keep my teeth ;^D

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 7:30PM
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Always at night

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 7:34PM
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Morning and night, always and some times in between. It's very good for the gums.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 7:39PM
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Yep, at least once a day if not more.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 8:03PM
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Nope. I get on kicks where I'll do it at night for a few weeks and then it seems to be less and less. I know I should do it more than once a day but so far that doesn't happen. My night time routine seems to take long enough as is and I don't like taking the extra 45 sec. or so. I know...goofy.

I know I should and maybe I'll start again.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 8:05PM
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I confess. Rarely. I've been very fortunate so far. There was a time when I went for about 10 years w/o seeing a dentist (just laziness, I even had dental coverage but had moved to new area and didn't have a dentist). My dentist said my teeth/mouth were in great condition with so little plaque build up that he couldn't believe how long it had been since I'd seen a dentist. I go regularly now, but I almost never floss. Horrible, I know, but so far the dentist hasn't been admonished me.

I wish I was better about it, but after a long day taking care of four kids, I'm so tired when I hit the hay that I barely have energy to brush my teeth and wash my face!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 8:06PM
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I am a dedicated flosser, every night, not too much during the day. If you love your gums, which are what hold your teeth in your head, then be sure to floss and get under the edges of your gums.

This totally gross but I am always impressed by how much crud comes out every night. I always floss first and then brush so I get rid of all the "flossings".

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 8:21PM
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Not a big flosser, instead I go to the dentist every 4 months and have my teeth cleaned/scaled.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 8:46PM
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I floss Sunday through Thursdays, but I have Fridays and Saturdays off. And federal holidays along with my birthday and the days that I've been to the dentist.

Yeah, I know it's lame to have days off, but it was the only way I could get myself motivated many many years ago to floss and keep flossing. And it worked! I also posted a diagram of the London Underground on the inside of my medicine cabinet and began memorizing the routes as I flossed. Circle Line: Paddington, Edgeware, Baker Street, Great Portland Street, etc. etc.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 9:14PM
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I use a Waterpik followed by brushing, first and last thing daily at least.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 10:58PM
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I used to not floss but then I got a couple of implants in the back and the crowns sit just high enough for an entire chicken leg to get stick underneath. So now I floss right after eating so that means three meals plus three snacks = flossing at least six times a day. I use those little floss pick things. I keep them in my desk drawer, car, night stand, bathroom & purse. Yes, that means I floss all over the house which drives DH crazy. He thinks it's gross and I agree - it's not exactly attractive but hey, I gotta floss!

The funny thing is that I go to the dentist every six months and my plaque is very minimal but I have tons of cavities and root canals. On the other hand DH avoids the dentist like the plague and he has like two cavities but they have to take a jack hammer to get rid of the plaque. I guess it's genetics - my mom has horrible teeth.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 11:25PM
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Er, rarely. But I know too much for my own good about bacterial flora, host response, and my own (lack of) susceptibility. Non-compliance is my middle name.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 11:39PM
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Yup. And I used to be a dental hygienist for a periodontist (gum specialist) If you had seen what I've seen you would floss daily. A few people might get by long term without flossing but most people will experience some level of gingivitis, periodontitis and potentially even tooth loss with inadequate oral hygiene. That is tooth loss due to gum disease even in the complete absence of tooth decay.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 12:03AM
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Anyone use a waterpik?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 2:18AM
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I was a sometime flosser. About a year ago I went to the dentist and my teeth were GROSS. I think it was a combination of being a few months past my check up date, hormones and the extra hard water in our new home. Now I am a twice a day brusher, twice a day listerine user and a once a day flosser. Last time I went to the hygenist she barely had to scale my teeth and could spend time making them look extra sparkly.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 6:45AM
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Only about once a month, when I think of it. However, I DO like those floss on a stick things, whatever they're called. I'm most likely to floss when I have one out in the open near the console of my car. Then I floss when I see it at stop signs, RR crossings, ect.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 10:25AM
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boopadaboo see my post above (12th post in this thread). I use a Waterpik.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 10:26AM
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I floss mid day and night. I believe in electric toothbrushes too. The new ones are great. I have an Oral B Pro from Costco. Shuts off automatically after two minutes.

Electric toothbrushes make great gifts. Few young people will drop $100 on a toothbrush but it is for health. I buy them as gifts every chance I get.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 10:29AM
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I have an electric toothbrush as well. I brush too hard which erodes the gums so I have one with a pressure sensor.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 11:33AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Hmm, I believe in whatever works for you and gives you an A+ from the dentist. I use toothbrushes that match my bathroom and are basic/plain. (I found some clear ones I like)

I floss about once a day but have very healthy guns and teeth. Haven't had a cavity in 25 years (back when I did not take care of my teeth), never had a root canal, or had a tooth pulled or capped, all the teeth are mine, so everything is copacetic.

Seems like I read that it's really ok to only floss every few days...I know that would gross most of you out though.

Dh is addicted to flossing, multiple times a day.

Sometimes I get up at night and snack and go back to bed..without brushing.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 11:51AM
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The proof is on the floss. If you don't do it, then you don't know what you're leaving behind after brushing. It can be pretty disgusting. And don't forget to brush your tongue while you're in there. ;)

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 12:36PM
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My toothbrush has a pressure sensor as well. I was amazed how hard I had been brushing all these years.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 1:32PM
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Okay Bumble, you know I love ya, but I had to laugh at toothbrushes matching the bathroom! BTW, we don't leave toothbrushes out.

Anyhoo, Kelly - my husband had the same problem. He used to scrub his teeth. I believe his toothbrush is a sonicare? Like Bumble, I still like a plain one and I agree as long as you are getting a good report from the dentist, do what works for you. I never floss more than once a day, nor have I been told to.

Natal, I always brush my tongue!

Goldie - that's a great idea about gifting toothbrushes!


    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 1:46PM
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Duh sis3 - Can I blame it on lack of sleep and a 7 week old baby? :) I think that your post was the one that made me look them up! I have read mixed reviews - some people say a waterpik can cause problems, but I think that it is from improper use, similar to the people above that mentioned using too much pressure.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 2:03PM
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I used to be a very rough toothbrusher, and ended up having to get gum grafts!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 2:06PM
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I use a battery-powered toothbrush and had to go back to a manual brush for a few months last year, because I was irritating my gums.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 2:15PM
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I use a Sonicare because I was brushing so hard I was making a notch in my teeth. I like the electric toothbrush although the replacement heads are expensive. They also can get icky and smelly if you don't clean out the insides frequently. I squirt some Lysol with Bleach bathroom cleaner in there.

You are supposed to hold the toothbrush at a particular angle and not scrub back and forth, just move the brush from one spot to the next. To me it doesn't feel like it's getting clean so I still scrub, but lightly.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 2:54PM
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boopadaboo I understand completely! I often miss posts and I don't have any excuse!
I have been using the Waterpik for years and haven't had any problems at all. It does a great job!
I also use a Sonicare. dedtired I put the handles (without the toothbrush heads) in the dishwasher. They come out as clean as a pin!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 3:57PM
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Hmmm, lots of interesting peeks inside the medicine cabinet as it were!

Although I have always been pretty good about oral hygiene, both my husband and I had some very $eriou$ periodontal problem$ and I do use the $ advisedly; we ended up spending 5 figures between us on grafts, surgery etc to save teeth. So we are both VERY careful and good about taking care of those choppers.

I switched to an electric toothbrush a few years ago and never looked back. I think it does a much better job of cleaning.

I suspect that dental issues are going to be a big growth industry as our huge baby boomer cohort gets old enough that all those neglected teeth and gums will start to fight back.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 5:15PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Tina, the toilet is in a separate enclosure, for the inquiring minds and I am the only one who uses the bathroom, dh has his own, so there can't be that many germs floating around, at least, I haven't died yet.

One of the dogs, though, has her bed in the bottom of the bathroom closet,
She seems quite healthy too....

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 5:35PM
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Ok I'm starting to feel bad that I don't floss often after reading these. After spending money on braces and all that goes with that and knowing people with gum issues, you'd think I'd pull my head out of you know where.

For what it's worth... I do get regular cleanings and I do brush my tongue and the roof of my mouth!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 6:34PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Shee, you are young so you haven't experienced the long term effects of not flossing. Don't feel bad, I know I have been there, but DO start flossing!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 7:08PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

I too am a somewhat irregular flosser. It is getting my regular as I get older. Dental hygiene was not stressed in my household growing up and I see the price my mother is paying for that so I am trying to get on the ball. I have considered the electric toothbrushes and really would like to consider them for the kids (the turning off after 2 minutes is what really entices me) but the replacement heads are definitely expensive and with 4 kiddoes, I have not made the leap yet.

I do understand flossing is good for health, and I can buy the heart health but must admit, I am quite skeptical of how it relates to a higher body mass.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 7:28PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

From what I understand, and perhaps our resident dentist will chime in, but flossing is actually more important than brushing, long term.
I too, did not have parents who flossed, so it was something I started in my sadly, late, twenties. (I'm 48)

I asked my mother once why she didn't teach us to floss and regretted asking for her obvious chagrin. It wasn't a big deal in the sixties, much less her time.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 8:26PM
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Our parents didn't floss and that's why a lot of them ended up with false teeth.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 8:29PM
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I use the Sonicare toothbrush and a Waterpik.
I get 4 cleanings a year-2 regular dentist-2 periodontist
I floss daily also due to having gum issues...have had
to have osseous surgery twice with bone grafting..$$
(I also had braces put on these choppers twice in my life)
My dad had dentures in his 60's and my mom is 93 and
still has all her own teeth.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 8:49PM
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I find it really helpful to keep floss in several places around the house. I keep it in drawers in several end tables, by the computer, in my bed table, and in the bathroom. I also keep some in my purse. Having it handy really helps.

I tend to build up tarter on my teeth so I get them cleaned every 4 months and I try to floss everyday. I miss a day here and there.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 11:47PM
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If you are a non flosser, pick up a package of floss picks next time you are at the store. They make flossing super easy and fast. Some types work better than others so if the first package you buy isn't working well, try another.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 6:08AM
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Sis, thanks for the tip about putting the handle in the DW. I guess it is sealed tightly enough that water won't get in the works.

Receding gums are what gave rise to the expression "long in the tooth", so if you want to look younger, floss around those gums and keep them pink and healthy.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 8:48AM
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dedtired, yes, they are sealed. The idea of putting them in the dishwasher came from the Sonicare instruction leaflet!
I buy my replacement heads from Costco, especially when they have a coupon for them. There is one in the current coupon booklet, $9 off.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 9:13AM
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It takes me about twelve to fifteen minutes to do my teeth every night, and boy is it worth it. I know I should floss more, but for the life of me I can't make myself do it during the day. Unless there is a piece of asparagus hanging out of my teeth.
At 10:15 every night I start flossing my teeth, it gives me just enough time before The Tonight Show comes on.

Is there anything prettier than a nice smile, I think not.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 5:40PM
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I'm kind of weird because I like to floss in the morning. I sometimes floss at night also, but I get too tired/lazy to do it then. I always get a good report from the hygienist. In fact I just went this week. She really had to look to find plaque to scrape.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 5:59PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

So what does Costco charge for replacement heads? I am wondering if they are cheaper than elsewhere. We are members of Sam's but have been contemplating a switch for some time.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 6:18PM
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I don't remember the exact price but I believe a pack of 6 is about $36. The coupon that is valid until July 8 is for $9 off. Does this compare favorably?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 8:58PM
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I never used to but have become a nightly flosser the last few years. As a child we took turns going to the dentist so of course, we ended up with lots of cavities and a big fear of dentist. My teeth are soft so I have so many fillings and over the years they have had to be replaced by crowns. I have 8 porcelin (SP?) veneers in the front top that cost me a bundle 10 years ago. As an adult I have always visited the dentist every 6 months but hated the cleanings. I now floss nightly and use an electric tooth brush but I do have to be careful with it not hurting my gums. I have so much metal in my mouth that I now have what the Oral surgeon said is a low electrical current that keeps the lining of my mouth very sensitive. I have dry mouth and if the balance of potassium, calicum and iron get a little off, my mouth breaks out in sores. I have managed to keep it under control with Biotene rinse and when needed a script from the dentist.

I think preventive care has made such a difference in dental health. We were pretty poor and like with doctors, you didn't go unless there was a problem. Nowadays, kids go before they even have all their baby teeth.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 8:45PM
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