Bad Habit #1: Not Taking Time To Floss
The Solution: We all know what it feels like to fall into the trap of "not having time" or simply feeling too tired to floss, but skimping on it could cause some major health issues—and ruin your pearly whites. Being a little lax on your flossing routine breeds extra plaque-forming bacteria. And plaque build-up leads to inflammation and a receding gum line, which means unsightly gaps between teeth and, possibly, future tooth loss. (Plus, there's an association between gum disease and chronic inflammatory diseases, like cardiovascular disease.) "Flossing breaks up bacteria between teeth and beneath the gum line," says Dr. Michael Apa. To keep your winning smile, Dr. Apa recommends starting a strict regime of: "First thing in the morning, brush, floss, rinse. Last thing before bed, brush, floss, rinse. It's like asking how to make time to put on your socks." He also recommends, especially for those who experience pain when flossing, trying Oral-B Pro-Health Clinical Protection Floss. "People take care of their skin," he says. "But taking care of your teeth is just another part of taking care of your face." Flossing twice a day is Dr. Apa's recommendation, and the benefits are threefold: decreasing dental visits that require the drill, keeping your teeth for as many years as you can, and maintaining overall health.
Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Clinical Protection Floss, $6.99, available at Walgreens.