There's no doubt that flossing is crucial to proper oral hygiene. After all, it does a pretty good job of removing dirt from those corners where your toothbrush can't reach. Without floss, we'd be at the mercy of painful gum and tooth diseases.
Flossing is more than just moving a piece of string left and right. Using floss without enough care and patience can do just as much damage as not brushing at all. Here are some mistakes you should avoid the next time you floss your teeth.
1. Not Doing It Every Day
It's no secret that flossing is key to preventing painful cavities and swollen gums. Unfortunately, a lot of us forget to actually do it every day. In fact, the only time when some people ever do remember to do it is when a crumb or two of food gets stuck between their teeth.
It's important to remember that flossing is not only meant to dislodge food from our teeth after a meal. It also gets rid of plaque and bacteria stuck to places where our toothbrushes can't reach. When we stop flossing every day, plaque can form and spread between teeth and along the gum line. This can lead to irritated and bleeding gums, as well as painful and eroded teeth.
Going a day or two without flossing can lead to more consequences than you think. If you don't want to deal with receded gums and sensitive teeth, you might want to spare a few minutes to do it daily.
2. Flossing Too Hard
Proper oral hygiene is all about cleaning without injury. On this note, it’s important to floss without damaging sensitive gum tissue. Flossing too aggressively after brushing will only injure your gums and cause them to recede.
One common mistake that people make when flossing is squeezing floss between teeth. While this might sound like a faster and easier way to do things, it’s also quite dangerous for enamel and gums. Instead, you should let your floss gently glide down along the natural contour of your teeth. Otherwise, your gums are only going to become injured and inflamed instead of healthy.
3. Stopping When The Gums Bleed
You shouldn’t stop flossing at the first sign of bleeding gums. This is just confirmation that your gums are diseased and need serious treatment. As long as you floss gently and properly, you won’t cause any further damage. In fact, flossing as needed can keep your gum problems from becoming worse since you’re staving off the spread of harmful plaque stuck to the gum line. As long as you continue to floss every day, your gums will adjust and eventually stop bleeding in no time.
Gum bleeding isn’t a problem that can go away on its own. If your gums continue to bleed heavily while you floss, you should consult a dentist and have them prescribe proper treatment. It could be a sign of gingivitis or other serious periodontal diseases that have gone unchecked.
4. Not Using Enough Floss
Using too little floss won’t do any favors for your teeth and gums. Reusing the same section of floss for all of your teeth can make things worse since you’re just spreading bacteria around. Instead, you should use floss that’s long enough to allow you to use new sections for each of your teeth. The floss you use should also be long enough to wrap around your fingers for an easier grip.
Most dentists recommend starting off with at least 18 inches of floss. Although it can be a bit tricky to decide whether the floss you use is long enough at first, you’ll be able to get the hang of things once you develop proper flossing habits. If you feel like 18 inches is too long or too short for your needs, you can make adjustments until you find the length that suits your needs best.
5. Not Flossing In The Right Areas
When we brush our teeth we know better than to just stop at the front and back. Likewise, it’s important to floss on all vital areas between your teeth instead of just stopping on one side. When flossing, be sure to rub your floss against the sides of both teeth instead of only sticking to the left or right.
It’s important to floss in areas where both teeth touch as this is where cavities are most likely to form. Most plaque accumulation occurs below the gum lines of teeth so do remember to floss those spots, too.
Cleaning the gum line every day is one of our best defenses against serious periodontal diseases. If you feel like floss isn’t enough to eliminate stubborn plaque, you can improve your oral hygiene even more with a top-quality dental scaler. Our store has a durable and handy dental scaler you can order in just a few minutes, so why not order yours today?