When it comes to increasing oral health awareness in the family, it’s important to remember that brushing and flossing aren’t enough to attain or maintain good dental health.
98% of every man, woman, and child in the United States has some form of oral disease. And among those folks, 90% of adults and 65% of 15-year-olds specifically have signs of active gum disease.
So if brushing and flossing alone created oral health and most people did at least one of these things habitually, wouldn’t these numbers be much, much lower?
Parents want the best for their children at all times. For example, many of us were raised on Twinkies and Lucky Charms (actually, I preferred Ding Dongs and Trix 🙂 –just name your poison). However, parents today want to give their children the finest start possible, especially if they themselves did not have the best nutritious start.
Circling back to our oral hygiene routine, it’s vital to note that children learn a great deal from seeing their parents go about their daily lives. As a result, taking charge of our dental health is the best thing we can do to enhance oral health for everyone in the family.
What is conscious flossing?
The term “conscious flossing” describes bringing awareness and attention to the routine habit of flossing.
By paying attention while flossing, a lot can be learned about what’s going on in our mouths, and this information can have a huge impact on the ability to create greater oral health.
How to floss consciously
1. Start with a piece of floss that’s long enough for you to be able to use a new segment of floss between each set of teeth.
2. Stop and look at the floss after each flossing point. Look for any discoloration on the floss. Any color (blood or yellowish color) is a clear sign that you have an active infection in the gum pockets around those teeth.
3. Step three requires some courage, so be strong! 🙂 Smell the floss. Yep, smell it after each contact you clean. A bad smell on the floss is also a sign of an active infection in the gum pockets around those teeth. And yes, if you find any smelly floss, that directly contributes to the smell from your mouth that your partner has come to recognize as normal.
4. As you floss, feel for any pain, sensitivity, or signs of swelling.
Once your children see you floss consciously, they will begin to do the same.
Everyone in the family will have a better understanding of how to create greater oral health in their own life. That’s what we call a win/win for all!!!