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    7 Excuses for Not Flossing and How to Conquer Them

    Excuse No. 4: I Don’t Have Time

    Find a time of day that works for you. You should floss at least once a day. Two times is best.

    Make it a part of your routine, morning and night. If you find you forget, store your floss with your toothbrush and toothpaste to remind yourself.

    You don’t have to do it in front of your bathroom mirror. Keep some floss in your car to use while you’re in traffic. Stash some in your desk and use it after lunch. The key is to fit in flossing when it works for you.

    Excuse No. 5: It Hurts

    If your gums bleed or hurt, you may have gingivitis or gum disease. That’s an even bigger reason to floss.

    “Flossing should not be a painful experience, but stopping flossing because of bleeding [or pain] is just the opposite of what you should be doing,” says Mark S. Wolff, DDS, PhD, chairman of cariology and comprehensive care at the NYU College of Dentistry.

    If you brush and floss daily, the bleeding and pain should stop in less than 2 weeks. If it doesn’t, see your dentist.

    Excuse No. 6: I’m Pregnant

    It may be hard to floss if you’re tired or nauseated. But it’s important to keep up with your brushing and flossing routine. Pregnancy can cause a wide range of dental issues, from gum disease to enamel wear.

    Excuse No. 7: My Teeth Are Too Close Together

    Try waxed or glide floss for an easier fit. If you have recessed gums, varied gaps between teeth, or braces, you can also try a threader or loop to find an easier entry point. If your floss shreds, you may have a cavity or a problem with dental work, like a broken crown or loose filling. Ask your dentist to take a look.

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    Reviewed on November 09, 2015

    How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

    Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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    Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

    Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

    SOURCES:

    American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

    This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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