Every time you visit your dentist you hear about how important it is to floss your teeth. Food particles that get stuck between your teeth can produce bacteria if not removed promptly. Brushing your teeth morning and night is good basic care, but even thorough brushing does not always remove all the harmful debris and plaque on and around your teeth. Flossing is the best way to make sure no bacteria producing remnants of your last meal remain between your teeth. But what if you’re traveling? Or at work? Where do you floss your teeth?

Dentists and hygienists are aware of the importance of regular flossing to remove acid-producing food particles. These professionals also realize that most of their patients are not truthful about how often they floss. The best way to deal with this problem is to explain the benefits of proper dental care rather than just give advice.

Flossing in Strange Places

Most people prefer to floss their teeth in the privacy of their bathroom, but this is not always possible. You may be in a public place without access to privacy, or you could be riding in an airplane or some other form of public transportation. Should you wait to clean your teeth even if you know those nasty bacteria are already at work? Some people simply go ahead and floss no matter where they are or who might see them.

Here’s a recent article on some strange places people floss their teeth:

Read article: Americans Floss in Strange Places

What To Do in a Pinch

Most people do not like to have food particles stuck between their teeth. Some unusual objects have been used to remove food from between their teeth including fingernails, folded paper, a strand of hair or even a safety pin. Dentists have heard stories from their patients about how they used unsanitary or dangerous objects such as twigs, pocketknives, toenails and loose electrical wires. These facts serve to stress how important it is to carry dental floss, picks or interdental brushes away from home.

Fortunately, there are products available that allow an individual to floss their teeth in a relatively discreet way. Small dental picks that are just a couple inches long have a sharp end that can serve as a toothpick as well as an embedded length of floss at the other end. It is quite easy to use this pick without being noticed by anyone other than a close companion. Interdental brushes made entirely of plastic or ones with a slender wire brush at the end are also effective in removing food particles and plaque buildup.

Why Floss?

There seems to be a strong difference between young people and those who are middle-aged and up when it comes to how important good dental hygiene is to them. One-third of baby boomers say flossing is the most important part of their personal care. Only one-fifth of the the younger generation of millennials thought flossing was very important at all.

Periodontists say that proper dental hygiene that includes regular flossing can help seniors maintain good health as they age. Periodontal disease affects two out of three adults in America, and certain chronic diseases have been linked to the condition. Healthy gums and regular dental checkups can help patients to avoid serious diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.

Related article: Love Those Gums: Floss Every Day

Proper dental care is recommended for everyone from children to seniors. Most people have healthy teeth from an early age, so they should make sure to have regular visits to their dentist and follow the advice they are given. Most people brush their teeth in the morning and before they go to bed at night, but brushing after meals is even better.

Even though using a manual toothbrush will do a good job if used properly, a SONICARE or sonic toothbrushes do a better job in a shorter amount of time. Most dentists advise their patients to use a water-pick to remove plaque and debris from below the gum line. This practice helps to maintain healthy gums and prevent periodontal disease as the patient ages.