Are You Flossing Correctly?
When it comes to caring for your teeth, flossing is one of the things you can't ignore. When you floss correctly, you have less dental disease and your dental cleanings are more successful. When you don't floss correctly, your dentist can tell. Here are ways you can tell if you're flossing the right way, as well as tips for correct flossing so your next dental checkup is a major success.
You don't floss daily
You should floss every day, and unlike brushing, there is no ideal time to floss. You can floss at the end of the day while watching TV, in the middle of the day during your downtime, or even in the middle of the night when you get up to get a drink. The key to flossing is that you just need to do it every day. Your dentist will let you know how often you should floss daily; however, just doing the practice on a regular basis is a start.
You skip teeth
Are your back teeth hard to reach so you just skip them? You shouldn't do this. Your back teeth can be the ones most susceptible to gum and tooth disease since they are the hardest to reach, so skipping flossing these — or any — of your teeth is a bad move. You can invest in a dental pick or other flossing tool if using regular floss is too hard or you can ask your dentist to give you a recommendation for flossing at your next cleaning. Your dentist will usually give you the tools you need to get started.
You floss harshly
The goal of flossing is to clean your teeth and gums, not cause pain and inflammation. While your teeth and gums may feel tender and sore when you first get into the habit of flossing, over time, there should be no discomfort. You should not aggressively pull floss back and forth in your mouth; rather, you should floss in a gentle back and forth motion and just under the gum line to remove plaque and food particles.
If your flossing habit is causing you regular pain and bleeding in your gums, talk to your dentist. You may have gum disease, which can be an indicator that you have other dental problems as well. Your dentist will show you the best way to floss and will help keep your mouth in healthy condition by giving you regular dental cleanings.