Many people forgo the flossing altogether…we commend you if you floss regularly! Below are 5 common mistakes people make while flossing, then some links to past blog posts for other helpful flossing tips.
1. Aimless flossing.
Our mouths contain a lot of teeth! It’s easy, especially at nighttime, to lose track and forget where you’ve flossed and where you haven’t. This won’t cause damage every once in awhile, but if the same teeth are forgotten each time, they won’t receive the benefits of flossing. Divide your mouth into quadrants (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right), or another way that makes it easier for you, then stick to a routine.
2. Quitting when the going gets tough.
It can be alarming when you see blood while flossing or brushing, but you haven’t done any long-term damage. Don’t quit flossing just because your gums are a bit sensitive. Sometimes your gums send more blood to the surface in order to fight off plaque. Regular flossing will alleviate this, and you won’t regularly see blood after a couple of days great dental hygiene.
3. Snapping floss in between teeth
Sometimes there are very small spaces in between the teeth that make it difficult to floss. Try not to force the floss down so it snaps against the gums. This can hurt sensitive gums, as well as lead to receding gums over time. Try to gradually work the floss back and forth, or consider a shower flosser or an air flosser if this is something that keeps you from flossing altogether.
4. Skipping the back teeth.
Just because this isn’t technically “in between the teeth”, those back teeth need thorough cleaning and extra attention with the floss to gather any plaque or bacteria that may be caught in the back of your mouth.
5. Using the same floss the whole time.
When you floss, you are removing harmful bacteria from your mouth. If that bacteria is on your floss, you certainly don’t want to just move it to another area of your mouth by continuing the use the same piece. Rinse the floss, and start using a new piece or at least a new section, every couple of teeth.
Need more flossing tips? Check out some past flossing guides.
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