Does flossing really make a difference?
Along with brushing and using an essential oil-containing mouthrinse, flossing is an essential part of a daily oral health routine, and is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA).1
Are your patients flossing regularly? The truth is:
This lack of compliance tends to stem from patients either lacking motivation, having difficulty using floss, or not knowing the proper flossing technique. That said, the importance of emphasizing flossing to your patients can't be understated.3,4
In fact, results from the Sharma et al study showed that when patients incorporated flossing into their daily routine, it resulted in a reduction in both plaque and gingivitis compared to brushing alone5:
Reduction in plaque and gingivitis when adding floss to brushing
Help your patients to floss regularly and correctly.
You should be teaching your patients the correct flossing technique6:
- Clean between each tooth, making a "C" shape with the floss
- Gently slide floss in between teeth and gums
- Don’t forget back teeth
Tips to help all of your patients start and maintain a flossing routine.
Whether your patients currently never floss or only floss from time to time, pass on these tips to help them form good oral hygiene habits.
PATIENTS WHO DON'T FLOSS AT ALL:
- Start with modest goals—once or twice a week6
- Build towards every day—at least once-a-day flossing6
- Start with one tooth—go tooth-by-tooth until flossing their entire mouth7,8
- Floss wherever and whenever—in the shower, watching TV, listening to music…9
- Whatever works for them—as long as they start to floss1
PATIENTS WHO FLOSS OCCASIONALLY:
- Make it a routine—floss at the same time each day9
- Make it a mealtime ritual—along with brushing as a part of a morning (and/or evening) oral care routine9
- Keep floss handy—by their toothbrush, in their purse/pocket, desk drawer, etc6,9
- Use visual reminders—establish helpful clues to remember to floss6,9
FLOSSING TIPS FOR ALL PATIENTS:
- Find a floss that works best for them; flavored floss may take the experience more enjoyable for some, while waxed floss or flossing devices may make it easier for others9
- For children, establish a reward system; offering small prizes like stickers can be an ideal way to motivate them to floss6
- Record accomplishments; crossing off every day they floss on a calendar is a good way to do this. The visual of a string of uninterrupted days can provide motivation to stick with flossing9
- Remember that flossing should not be painful; but if it is, to stick with it for a while as discomfort should ease within 1-2 week1
Different flosses for different needs.
The LISTERINE® Brand offers a product to meet the varying needs of virtually any type of patient who requires plaque removal.
For patients who have tight contacts and dental work:
LISTERINE® ULTRACLEAN® FLOSS
For patients with tooth staining:
LISTERINE® HEALTHY WHITE® FLOSS
To see the MICRO-GROOVES®Technology in action, click here
For patients who want a cleaner, fresh-breath feeling:
LISTERINE®COOL MINT® FLOSS
For patients with limited manual dexterity and first-time users:
LISTERINE® ULTRACLEAN® ACCESS® FLOSSER
You can recommend LISTERINE® Brand flosses to your patients with confidence, knowing they provide superior plaque removal and cleaning.
What we've learned:
1. What percentage of patients floss regularly and effectively?
2. Which of the following would be a good tip for someone who is currently not flossing at all?
a.) Start with a goal of flossing once or twice a week
b.) Establish a reward system for yourself
c.) Floss wherever and whenever
d.) All of the above
3. Which types of floss would you recommend to patients with sensitive gums?
a.) LISTERINE® HEALTHY WHITE® FLOSS
b.) LISTERINE® ULTRA CLEAN® FLOSS
c.) LISTERINE® COOL MINT® FLOSS
4. LISTERINE® ULTRA CLEAN® FLOSS grabs up to _____more plaque than Glide® Mint Floss.
Answers: 1. a; 2. d; 3. a; 4. d.