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Week three has been about flossing daily, at least once a day. Flossing has been recommended by dental health experts for decades. It’s a simple way to remove plaque and food from between teeth and it can help towards preventing getting nasty cavities and gum disease alongside proper tooth brushing.

After an investigation by the Associated Press earlier in 2016 some articles surfaced on the internet questioning whether flossing is really a beneficial practice. While the majority of research into flossing has been conducted by manufacturers of dental floss, we believe there are benefits to flossing, especially for your gums as it stops tartar from forming and causing damage to them and the bone beneath.

The issue seems to be that most people haven’t been shown how to floss properly so it’s not incredibly effective, and if you’re like me - it’s hard to turn into something you remember to do daily. The trick is to hook the floss around your teeth in a > shape and wipe up so you’re pressing against the tooth otherwise you’re not maximising the process. It's also best to floss pre-brushing as you get the cleanest teeth. It’s inexpensive, quick and there’s a possibility that it is genuinely helping your teeth - and more importantly your gums. We thought it was well worth doing this so when the dentist next asks at the six month check up we can proudly say ‘Yes, yes I have been flossing’.

There are loads of utensils you can use to floss: floss tape, floss picks, inter-dental brushes, tooth picks, and if you’re feeling fancy you can even get air and aqua flossers that use water or air to flush out the plaque.

 

HOW DID IT GO AND WERE THERE ANY PROBLEMS?

In our house all we have is floss tape from well intended purchases after trips to the dentist. This tape usually gets used for about a week and then forgotten about because we’re either in a rush or too tired. We also have dental picks that my partner has been using. He suggested I try one of them to see how it went and I really enjoyed using it. Simple and very easy and you also aren’t using up tonnes of tape in the process because it’s already all set up for you. In my opinion it’s quite a faff to get the tape out and wrap it around the fingers, shoving your fingers in your mouth and then finding a place to put the floss after then inevitably no matter what finding it somewhere that is not the bin. The floss picks have been a great solution.

The hardest thing honestly seems to be remembering to do it and then realising you forgot at inadequate times. Like when you're out shopping. But this is habit building exercise so I’ve decided to floss in the morning as I’m usually feeling too tired to remember in the evening… So far so good, I think I only forgot one day and decided to floss twice the day after to make up for my mishap. I think it's best to consider the best time to floss for you to build this into a part of your life. 

Hopefully you're enjoying our #HealthyHabits2017 challenges. It's been fun reminding ourselves to be considerate towards these small actions within our daily lives.

This week - we know it's likely chilly where you are - but if you want to join in we'll be walking an extra 15-30mins a day on top of our usual routines. It's that thing where you walk a couple of stops that you would usually get the bus to. Or taking your legs instead of the car for a quick trip and just allowing yourself that time for you. Let us know how you're getting on if you join in with us! 

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