Achieving Good Dental Health Can Be Easier than You Think

Don't Risk Dental Complications By Making These Common Flossing Mistakes

Concerning data from the American Dental Association indicates that only 16% of Americans floss their teeth daily. If you belong to the other 84%, the simple truth is that you need to start flossing. If you're already flossing, you want to be certain that you're doing the job correctly. Lots of people floss regularly, but don't engage in habits that optimize this task — and that can be nearly as bad as not flossing at all. During your next dental visit, don't be afraid to ask your dentist or dental hygienist for some flossing tips. Here are some flossing mistakes that many people make, and that you should avoid.

Only Going Up And Down

Flossing is about more than just threading your piece of dental floss between two teeth and sliding it up and down. Doing so is certainly better than not flossing at all, but you're not getting the whole job done if you take this approach. When you insert the floss between two teeth, you should pull your fingers in one direction so that the floss makes a "C" shape. You can then slide the floss up and down, allowing it to glide over the surface of the tooth — rather than just slide up and down beside the tooth. You'll also need to pull your fingers and the floss in the other direction to treat the adjacent tooth before you remove the floss and continue with the job.

Using Floss That Is Too Thin

People have different sizes of gaps between their teeth, so there's no "one-size-fits-all" floss that works for everyone. Lots of people make the mistake of using floss that is too thin. Tape-style floss is an example of this. While its thinness makes it easy to slip between crowded teeth, it's often too thin to do any good if the gap between two teeth is wider. For such gaps, you'll want use to thicker dental floss to ensure that it's doing its job.

Not Getting Close Enough To The Gum

Bleeding gums are never pleasant, but you shouldn't change your approach to flossing just to avoid your gums bleeding. Tartar frequently builds up along the gumline, which means that unless you're touching the gum with your strand of floss — and, when possible, actually allowing it to slide down between the tooth and the gum — you aren't effectively cleaning your teeth. 

Tartar along the gumline is a problem because it will cause your gums to become inflamed. What you might not know is that if you make your gums bleed while flossing, but continuously keep it at, the bleeding will eventually subside. This is an indicator that you've removed the tartar, thus eliminating the inflammation of the gums.

For more information, contact your local family dentistry services today.