Ready for new year, new you? It's as easy as these 11 Motherboard Mom-tested tips.
By Leslie Goldman
We all know we should floss, but most of us skip the healthful habit, stepping it up only in the days before and after a checkup. That's unfortunate, considering a whopping 75% of Americans have some form of gum disease, which causes bleeding, tender gums, and killer breath. Plus, people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease, a major killer of women.
Academy of General Dentistry spokesperson Steven A. Ghareeb, D.D.S., suggests flossing at least once daily: Start by pulling out about an arm's length of floss and wrap the ends around your middle fingers until you have a few inches to work with. Use your index fingers to direct the floss, sliding it against the side surfaces of the teeth. Don't freak out if your gums start to bleed—that should improve within a week or two.