By now, you are likely aware that regular flossing is essential for healthy teeth and gums. It removes food particles and bacteria from tiny spaces your toothbrush can't reach. Although flossing may seem simple enough, it is still possible to make mistakes.
Here are a few common flossing mistakes you should avoid.
Not Flossing Your Teeth Often Enough
If you only floss when you get a big piece of food stuck between your teeth, this practice will not be adequate enough. To significantly reduce your risk of getting cavities and gum disease, you have to floss your teeth once a day. If you have trouble remembering to floss every day, set a reminder on your phone.
Flossing Your Teeth Too Roughly
Just like you should not brush your teeth too aggressively, you also should not floss with too much force. If you floss your teeth too aggressively, you could irritate your gums and make them bleed. To avoid these issues, always floss with care.
Flossing After Brushing
Many people get into the habit of flossing after they brush their teeth. However, this can leave food particles and bacteria in your mouth. On the other hand, if you floss before you brush, the brushing will get rid of the particles you just flossed between your teeth.
Using the Same Section of Floss
One of the most common mistakes people make is using the same piece of floss over and over. When you do this, you can spread bacteria to other areas of your mouth. To avoid any issues, use a new piece of floss every time you brush between two teeth.
Stopping If Your Gums Bleed
If your gums start to bleed after you floss them, it can be alarming. However, that does not mean you should stop flossing your teeth. Your gums may just be inflamed because you have not flossed them in a while. If you continue to floss gently every day, the bleeding should soon subside.
Not Flossing Long Enough
Flossing your teeth correctly takes time, so you should not rush the process. It is important to floss between every tooth you have, which should take at least a couple of minutes.
If you avoid making these common flossing mistakes, you can keep your teeth and gums in good shape. If it has been a while since your last dental checkup, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist soon. For more information, contact a dentist like Dr. Jon Douglas Lesan, DDS, RpH, PA.