What’s the one question that you can count on being asked whenever you visit the dentist’s office? How often do you floss your teeth and trust us, your dentist can tell when you lie and tell them you floss twice a day.
Flossing is an important part of oral health and hygiene and skipping out on it is only hurt you in the long run! There are tons of mistakes people can do while flossing which means more harm than good.
We’ve compiled a list of common flossing mistakes and how to avoid them below!
1. Most Common Flossing Mistakes? Not Flossing
The first and of course the most common flossing mistakes you can make is not flossing your teeth regularly.
Flossing gets those extra places that your toothbrush won’t get in between your teeth. Why is flossing important? Without flossing, you’re letting bits of food sometimes too small to see from piling in between your teeth and forming a hard coating on your teeth called plaque.
The build up of plaque leads to inflamed gums or gingivitis, bad breathe, and cavities. Do you really want to be back in the dentist’s chair for fillings? Or even worse, lose teeth? Didn’t think so, so don’t skip the floss!
2. Rushing Through It
This common flossing mistake goes double for those of you who like to rush the process of brushing your teeth each time.
When you shower you don’t quickly run some soap over your body, rinse, and get out. No, you make sure you get all the creases and bends so that no spots missed from a soap down. Oral hygiene is no different.
Take your time while flossing between each individual tooth to get in there and clean it out. When you rush you’ll be more prone to missing areas or not cleaning between your teeth all the way through. This lets plaque have the run of things and grow on your teeth causing more harm than good.
Generally, a good flossing should take at least two to three minutes of your time. A good way to keep track is to put on your favorite song and floss for the duration since most songs run about three minutes.
3. Aggressive Flossing
Flossing shouldn’t make you look like a post-meal vampire. Bleeding gums, inflammation, and receding gum lines are just some of the negative side effects of aggressing flossing.
Avoid the bleeding gums by being gentle when you’re flossing and not forcing the floss vigorously between your teeth. You don’t want to damage the tissue around your teeth, just give it some breathing room with a clean through.
Use a gentle hand when flossing instead of roughly running the floss through your teeth so that you’re not irritating our gums.
4.Flossing Up and Down
Did you know you shouldn’t be flossing up and down? This is definitely one of our common flossing mistakes, usually because someone hasn’t been taught to floss properly before.
When you floss, you should work in a wiggle motion sweeping sideways against each side of the teeth you’re working on. This acts as a kind of scraping motion against the teeth to help clear out anything stuck to the sides in between.
The up and down motion only gets at the bigger pieces that are directly between the teeth, and not any food that can be trapped stuck to the sides of the teeth.
5. Flossing Only The Front
Just because your front teeth are the only ones that people see when you smile doesn’t mean the other teeth aren’t as important. They need their TLC too!
When you’re flossing, an easy mistake to make is not paying attention to the back teeth as much as you do the front teeth. It’s the back teeth that do most of the chewing work and have the biggest susceptibility to plaque build-up.
They should be the ones you actually pay attention to the most!
6. Not Asking Your Dentist For Advice
Flossing isn’t something that we’re all born knowing how to do. There’s a lot of people that haven’t gotten a tutorial on how to properly floss, or have issues flossing and don’t address them with their dentist.
These are pretty common flossing mistakes to make but they can be easily avoided by asking your dentist or dental hygienist to give you a quick flossing tutorial to make sure you’re doing it right.
7. Only Flossing When There’s Food In Your Teeth
Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Flossing only when you see food in your teeth is a pretty common mistake to make and should be avoided.
Usually, the trapped food that ends up hardening into dental plaque is quite small and builds up over time. You can get a head start on it before it ends up getting bad by flossing regularly even if you don’t see anything in between your teeth.
Trust us, you’ll see a great dental improvement!
8. Flossing Only Once a Day
There’s a reason the dentist asks you how many times you floss a day. Flossing once a day is a common mistake to make but is easily repairable.
Most people only floss at the end of their day as part of their nightly routine, but truthfully it should be done at a minimum twice a day. Definitely don’t skip on the nightly flossing, and add it into your day time routine either when you wake up in the morning or after every meal you eat.
Avoiding Common Flossing Mistakes
We hope with this article you’ll be able to confidently correct any bad flossing habits and avoid these common flossing mistakes. Oral hygiene is an important part of your health, and after all, you only get one set of adult teeth in your lifetime!
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