Top 10 Mistakes When Flossing

Today we will talk about mistakes when flossing.

1. Not Flossing the Sides of Both Teeth

If you just slide the floss down, and then pull it up, you are only getting 50% of the job done. When you move the floss up between two teeth, you need to make sure that you are cleaning the side of both teeth. One of the favorite places for plaque to hide is between the teeth.

2. Using the Same Section of Floss between All of Your Teeth

Instead if you use a new section of floss each time you floss between two teeth, you will be loosening the plaque without putting plaque that you’ve already removed back in between your teeth.

3. Snapping the Floss Down Hard Between Your Teeth

To get the floss to go between a tight contact between two adjacent teeth, try to wiggle the floss back and forth applying a firm but controlled downward pressure. Snapping the floss down between the teeth can not only injure your gums in the short-term, but also the trauma can cause your gums to recede too in the long term.

4. Not Flossing Behind the Very Back Teeth

Even though there isn’t a tooth next to it, it is still important to clean behind the last teeth in the back of your mouth (two on the upper and two on the lower jaws.) This can help remove bacteria that has made its way between your tooth and gums.

5. Flossing Aimlessly Without a Plan

If you fail to plan then you are planning to fail. Find a “floss order” that works for you and stick to it so that you miss out to floss any teeth. For me, I will floss the upper front tooth then to the very left, then to the right, then move on to the lower left jaw and lower right.

6. Not Flossing Around Dental Appliances

Many people don’t know that if they have fixed dental appliances in their mouth, they need to floss around them to keep those appliances clean to make sure the surrounding teeth and gums are healthy. For example, if you have a bridge or implant or braces, it is necessary to use a floss, superfloss or other interdental cleaners to maintain your gum health.

7. Quitting When Your Gums Bleed

Blood may scare some people when they floss because they think that they are hurting their gums if they bleed. You are not hurting them as long as you’re not flossing too hard (see mistake #3.) The main reason why your gum bleeds when you floss could be because you haven’t been taking good care of your teeth and gums health, leading to the gums been inflamed for a period of time. When you floss down and touches the inflamed gums, the gum bleeds easily. But bleeding is actually good to flush out the bacteria and toxins in the gums, allowing time to heal, and your gums will be back to a healthy state.

8. Not Spending Enough Time with Your Floss

Most people have 32 teeth that means 64 sides of teeth (front & back) that you need to floss. You should be spending a couple of seconds with each side, scraping up and down against the tooth a few times before moving onto the next surface. Even though this will take you a mere 2 minutes every day, it will be saving you a lot of pennies from going to the dentist in the long run.

9. Not Applying Pressure to the Tooth Surface

When you floss, you want to be careful to avoid using too much downward pressure so you don’t damage your gums. Always remember you are flossing the teeth not the gums!!

10. Not using the right interdental cleaners

Some people are using the wrong tools to clean areas between their teeth leading to gum bleeding, recession, or even gaps between teeth.

Hope the information above helps you in some ways. Please feel free to drop any questions in the comment box below.

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