The fact that you even floss is something to be applauded, as more than half of people don't floss at all, and the clear majority don't floss as often as they should. However, it's time to step up your flossing game, by fixing these three incredibly common mistakes that people make when they floss.
Not Flossing Daily
As mentioned above, most people don't floss, and even more people don't floss as often as they should be. It is important to your oral health to floss once every day, early in the morning before or after your brushing routine.
Using an Incorrect Method
Are you flossing correctly? A healthy mouth typically has 28 teeth – that's 54 surfaces that need to be flossed, going up and down on one side of a tooth, then shifting slightly to get the opposite side, and then repeating for each tooth in your mouth. This includes your back teeth – even though there isn't another tooth to move on to afterwards, you should still floss both sides!
Furthermore, you should have a plan before you even start, lest you get confused or lose track of which tooth you are on. Having a plan is also important because you should not be using the same piece of floss for the entire mouth, and ideally should use a new piece for each gap. You don't want to remove the plaque, and then spread it right back onto the next tooth in the line!
Flossing Too Violently
While bleeding gums are normal when you first start out flossing, if you are still experiencing it after acclimating to floss, you may be flossing too aggressively. Use a see-saw motion to work your way down the side of the tooth, not a sharp snapping up-and-down motion. Use a strong, firm motion while flossing the sides of your teeth, but once you hit the gums, use only gentle motions to clean off plaque, lest you damage the gumline and potentially cause recession or damage to your mouth.
Flossing is something to be celebrated, but make sure that you are doing it right by addressing these three errors patients commonly make. If you have any questions or would like more flossing tips or recommendations, reach out to our office today – we promise not to string you along!