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Common Flossing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Feb 1, 2023

Avoiding Common Flossing Mistakes: A Guide to Achieving a Healthy Smile

Flossing is an essential part of maintaining good oral health, but many people make common mistakes that can negatively impact their gums and teeth. Understanding and avoiding these mistakes can help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.

Mistake #1: Flossing Your Gums Instead of Your Teeth

One of the most common flossing mistakes is flossing the gums instead of the teeth. People often think that flossing means scrubbing the gums, but this can actually cause harm and lead to bleeding gums. The goal of flossing is to remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and along the gumline. Flossing should be gentle and focus on the areas between the teeth and along the gumline.

Mistake #2: Flossing Too Roughly

Another common mistake is flossing too roughly. People often apply too much pressure or use a sawing motion when flossing, which can irritate the gum tissue and cause bleeding. To avoid this, it is important to be gentle and use a slow, up-and-down motion to reach the areas between the teeth and along the gumline.

Mistake #3: Not Flossing Around the Entire Tooth

It is also common for people to only floss the front of their teeth, neglecting the sides and back of the teeth. Plaque and food particles can build up in these areas as well, so it is important to floss around the entire tooth to effectively remove plaque and maintain good oral health.

Mistake #4: Not Using the Right Type of Floss

Different types of floss have different textures and strengths, and it is important to choose the right type of floss for your needs. If you have tight spaces between your teeth, for example, it may be necessary to use a floss pick or threader to effectively reach these areas.

Mistake #5: Using the Same Section of Floss Between All of Your Teeth

Using the same section of floss between all of your teeth can spread bacteria and plaque from one tooth to another, negating the benefits of flossing. To avoid this, it is important to use a clean section of floss for each tooth.

Mistake #6: Quitting When Your Gums Bleed

If your gums start to bleed when you floss, it is not a sign to stop flossing. Bleeding gums are a common side effect of improper flossing or a buildup of plaque, and flossing can help remove plaque and prevent gum disease. If you experience bleeding gums, it is important to be gentle and consult your dentist for advice on how to improve your flossing technique.

How to Floss: A 5-Step Guide

  1. Gather Your Tools: You will need dental floss, a mirror, and a steady grip.

  2. Wind the Floss: Take about 18 inches of floss and wind it around your middle fingers, leaving a few inches of floss between your hands.

  3. Use the Thumbs: Hold the floss between your thumbs and index fingers, and gently glide the floss between your teeth, using a slow up-and-down motion.

  4. Reach the Gumline: Gently curve the floss around each tooth and gently scrape along the gumline, being careful not to hurt your gums.

  5. Repeat: Repeat this process for each tooth, being sure to use a clean section of floss for each tooth.

Lastly, ensure that you schedule regular visits to your general dentist for professional cleanings. These appointments will provide an opportunity for your dentist and dental hygienist to monitor your flossing habits and address any issues promptly, reducing the risk of receding gums, gingivitis, or gum disease. Archer Dental near Midway Airport in Archer Height Chicago is there to help you. Book your appointment today online or by calling 773-581-1345.

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