As we mention in our article, “How to create a healthy brushing routine with your toddler or young child“, as parents, the oral hygiene routine that we model sets the example for our child’s oral hygiene.
When it comes to raising our oral health awareness as a family, we should note that oral health is not achieved or maintained by the simple acts of brushing and flossing alone.
98% of every man, woman, and child in the United States has some form of oral disease. And among those folks, 90% of adults and 65% of 15-year-olds specifically have signs of active gum disease.
So if brushing and flossing alone created oral health and most people did at least one of these things habitually, wouldn’t these numbers be much, much lower?
As parents, we always want the best for our children. For example, many of us were raised on Twinkies and Lucky Charms (actually, I preferred Ding Dongs and Trix 🙂 –just name your poison). However, now that we’re parents, we want to provide our kids with the very best start, especially if we feel we may not have had the greatest nutritional start ourselves.
(Incidentally, feel free to check out our articles, “How to Help Your Child Avoid Gum Disease” and “4 Steps to Help Your Kids Live a Cavity Free Life“).
Circling back to our oral hygiene routine, it’s important to remember that children learn a lot by 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.
The key is… modeling
By modeling how to care for our own oral health, we lead by example, which we all know is the very best way for our children to learn from us.
If we had to choose the most important aspect of a healthy oral care routine, it would be daily conscious flossing.
What is conscious flossing?
We’ve coined the term “conscious flossing” to describe bringing our awareness and attention to the routine habit of flossing.
By paying attention while flossing, we can learn a lot about what’s going on in our mouths, and this information can have a huge impact on our ability to create greater oral health.
How to floss consciously
1. Start with a piece of floss that’s long enough for you to be able to 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 that 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. A bad smell on the floss is also a sign of an active infection in the gum pockets around those teeth. And yes, if you find any smelly floss, that directly contributes to the smell from your mouth that your partner has come to recognize as normal.
4. As you floss, feel for any pain, sensitivity or signs of swelling.
What if I found signs of infection while flossing consciously?
If you found any signs of infection, know that it does not have to be this way!
Feel free to check out our HealThy Teeth & Gums Starter Kit, which contains some helpful tools for supporting you along your path.
The HealThy Mouth Blend included in the kit can be particularly helpful if you add a drop to your finger and then run your floss through it. This coats the string so that as you’re flossing, the blend gets down a little deeper below the gum line.
Here’s an article that explains the role of each ingredient in our HealThy Mouth Blend, and here’s a video that explains some ways to use the HealThy Mouth Blend.
When we begin taking daily action to consistently disorganize any ‘thug bugs’ that are hiding below the gum line, strange colors and smells on the floss will diminish over time.
If you’ve already been diagnosed with deep gum pockets or periodontal disease, then we invite you to check out our HealThy Mouth System, which contains all of the tools you need to reach the thug bugs that are hiding out and creating problems at the base of the gum pockets.
If you really want to take your oral health to the next level, fill out the OraWellness Mouth Map with your conscious flossing results and keep it as a record. Keeping a dated record helps you track whether your oral health is improving over time or if you are losing the battle to the thug 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 health in their own life. That’s what we call a win/win for all!!!
Here are some additional flossing resources to help you along your path:
- 4 Reasons Why Flosser Picks Are NOT a Healthy Option [article]
- What’s the Best Floss on the Market and Why? [floss analysis article]
- 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”.
What about you? Have you tried conscious flossing? If so, have you found it helpful? What tips have you found helpful for helping your family walk the path to greater oral health? Please share your experiences in the comments below so we can all learn from each other.
Helpful, Related Resources:
How to create a healthy brushing routine with your toddler or young child [article]
How to Help Your Child Avoid Gum Disease [article]
4 Steps to Help Your Kids Live a Cavity Free Life [article]
HealThy Teeth & Gums Starter Kit [product solution]
HealThy Mouth Blend [product solution]
What’s in the HealThy Mouth Blend? (And why is it so effective?) [article]
How to Maximize Your Benefit Using the HealThy Mouth Blend [video tutorial]
HealThy Mouth System [product solution]
OraWellness Mouth Map [FREE download]
4 Reasons Why Flosser Picks Are NOT a Healthy Option [article]
What’s the Best Floss on the Market and Why? [floss analysis article]
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]
How to Stop Tooth Decay and Remineralize Your Teeth [FREE ebook]