The underrated hygiene habit

You know what I’ve started doing lately? Flossing twice a day. Sounds silly, I know, but it’s doing great things for me. You should try it.

(Note: I’m kind of neurotic about my dental hygiene and always floss at night and brush twice a day, for quite a long time).

It all started because around the beginning of the year I kept seeing flossing pop up in Top Whatever lists of ways to have a better year or ways to improve your life, etc. Obviously, healthy teeth and gums are necessary, and not enough people take the time to floss because they don’t realize it’s important. But flossing wasn’t on those lists just to make your mouth cleaner. Apparently, dental hygiene gained by flossing has been linked to improved heart health and prevention of heart disease, so that’s a pretty solid reason to take two minutes to run a string through your pearly whites.

I also read something about how flossing reaches 40 percent of your teeth, and that’s the 40 percent not accessible by brushing. I don’t think this really applies to the teeth right in front, but, if you think about it, two of five sides of a tooth are blocked by other teeth, so that’s 40 percent that your tooth brush can’t reach. Makes me sad to realize all my brushing only hits 60 percent, but enter the floss, and problem solved.

So I decided to floss in the morning as well as at night. And it’s making a huge difference!

I had never paid attention before to how much cleaner my mouth feels after I floss. Everything feels minty and fresh and ready to go. Who wouldn’t want to feel that way when heading out to meet the day, instead of just at night? Plus, I think it’s making my teeth a bit whiter, too – another thing everybody wants.

Brushing is great, and I’m definitely not going to relent on that one, but I’m now a firm believer in something I just took to be protocol before. My teeth feel so much cleaner now, both at night and in the morning, and I can make a conscious effort to floss better, instead of just breezing through it.

So try it. Do it for your breath, your gums and your heart. Floss, and do it well, and pay attention to just how wonderful it makes your mouth feel.

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