Cavities often start forming between two teeth. Regular flossing is key to cavity prevention and good oral health. Many people make some common mistakes when flossing. Remember your bi-annual dental cleaning appointments at Huntersville Family & Cosmetic Dentistry are an ideal time to ask our staff to review your flossing technique. If you want to reap the biggest benefits from flossing, Dr. Marra recommends that you avoid these errors.
1. Only flossing when food is stuck between your teeth.
Flossing should be a daily practice and not reserved for only when you feel or see food stuck between your teeth. In addition to removing food debris, flossing also removes plaque between the teeth.
2. Quitting when your gums are bleeding.
If you are not flossing regularly, your gums will bleed when you first start flossing. Don’t be alarmed and stop. Your gums may be red and inflamed because of gingivitis. The good news is you can reverse the signs of gingivitis by daily flossing and soon your gums should stop bleeding.
3. Flossing too hard.
Don’t take your frustrations out on your gums! Apply firm pressure when flossing between your gums but avoid aggressively snapping down the floss between your gums. Too much force can injure the gum tissue and cause your gums to recede.
4. Racing through flossing.
If you speed through your flossing routine you may be skipping teeth. Remember that you need to make contact with the surface of each tooth, gently rubbing up and down both sides. Spend a few seconds on each tooth.
5. Skipping over your molars.
Yes, those molars at the very back of your mouth are usually tighter to get between with floss, but that doesn’t give you a flossing pass. Molars need cleaning to remove food debris and plaque just like the rest of your teeth.
6. Not flossing around dental appliances.
Flossing can be tricky if you have a fixed dental appliance, such as braces or a bridge. Instead of conventional dental floss, try using Superfloss or floss threaders to get under the wire and keep your teeth and gums healthy.
7. Using the same section of floss between all of your teeth.
Repeatedly using the same section of floss spreads plague and bacteria from tooth to tooth. Essentially you are taking the plaque you just removed from the surface of one tooth and sticking in on another.