When it comes to raising our awareness of oral health as a family, we quickly come to the realization that what we as parents model with our own oral hygiene routine will become the example for our child’s oral hygiene. And we understand that oral health is not achieved or maintained by the simple acts of brushing and flossing alone. For if brushing and flossing created oral health, would 90% of adults and 65% of 15-year-olds have signs of active gum disease? After all, 98% of every man, woman, and child in the United States has some form of oral disease!
As parents, we always want the best for our children. This especially applies for those of us where were raised on Twinkies and Lucky Charms (actually, I preferred Ding Dongs and Trix :), just name your poison). We want to provide our kids the very best start, especially if we feel we may not have had the best nutritional start ourselves. Children learn best from watching how we go about our lives. Therefore, the very best thing we can do to improve the oral health for everyone in our family is to take control of our own oral health.
By modeling how to care for our own oral health, we lead by example, which we all know is the very best way our children learn from us. If we had to pick just one healthy oral care routine, that would be to floss consciously.
What is conscious flossing?
We have coined the term conscious flossing to mean bringing our awareness and attention to a routine habit like flossing. By bringing awareness to flossing, we can learn much about what is going on in our mouths, which can have a huge impact on our ability to create greater oral health.
Here’s how to floss consciously
1. Take a piece of floss that is long enough so you can 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 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.
4. Feel as you floss for any pain, sensitivity or signs of swelling. The bottom line here is if you have any color on the floss (bleeding gums) or bad smell, you have an active infection in the gum pockets between those two teeth. And yes, if you found any smelly floss, that directly contributes to the smell from your mouth that your partner has come to recognize as normal.
It does not have to be this way! If you really want to take your oral health to the next level, download our OraWellness Mouth Map for free by following this link.
Fill out the OraWellness Mouth Map with what you find from your conscious flossing and keep it as a record. By keeping a dated record of the spots in your mouth that bled or had a bad smell when flossed, you can KNOW whether your oral health is improving or if you are losing the battle to the bad bugs that cause gum disease.
Once your kids see Mom and/or Dad floss consciously, they will begin to do the same. Then everyone in the family will have a better understanding of how to create greater oral in their own life. That’s what we call a win/win for all!!!
Here are some additional resources to help you get started with flossing:
4 Reasons Why Flosser Picks Are NOT a Healthy Option [article]
What’s the Best Floss on the Market and Why? [floss analysis]
WHY is flossing such a critically important oral hygiene habit? [video tutorial]
How to floss and NOT damage your gums [video tutorial]
How to avoid the 4 most common flossing mistakes [article]
Also, if you’re ready to kick your oral health up a notch and gain a complete understanding of how to stop tooth decay and reverse cavities, feel free to download our FREE resource guide, “How to Remineralize Your Teeth”.